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China and Russia extend their Strategic Partnership

According to the declarations of the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, which were reported by Financial Times, the meeting between Xi and Putin in Moscow has made the world safer, reducing the possibility of a nuclear conflict, in compliance with the 12-point peace plan proposed by Beijing, which condemns the use of atomic weapons. According to the European Union representative for foreign affairs and security policy, the Chinese president wants to move China's role away from the conflict, promoting new dialogue opportunities between Kiev and Moscow and earning an economic return.

Borrell confirmed that he will soon be on an official visit to Beijing, following the missions already planned by other European Union leaders: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was the first one to meet Xi Jinping after the pandemic in December 2022, Pedro Sanchez, the Spanish Prime Minister, will travel to China in the coming days and French President Emmanuel Macron will follow him the following week together with the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, is also working on a potential EU-China summit.

During the meetings in the Kremlin palace, Xi and Putin signed a series of agreements and a joint declaration between the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation on the renewal of their strategic partnership. Moscow has welcomed China's willingness to play a proactive role for a diplomatic solution to the Ukrainian crisis, considering the proposals contained in Beijing's position paper on the political solution to the Ukrainian crisis as useful and confirming its interest in resuming talks on peace.

The historical ties between Beijing and Moscow translate into political and economic agreements. Over the years, the trade volume between China and Russia has steadily increased, and according to data from China's customs, the aggregate import and export trade between the two countries in 2022 grew by about 30 percent, a percentage increase higher than that of the trade between China and any other country.

The Russian Far East area has important relations with China, influenced by the geographical position. In fact, Russia borders Xinjiang for 100 kilometres, and Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang for over 4,000 kilometres, which include the city of Manzhouli, on the triple border between Russia, Mongolia, and China. Manzhouli is the main Sino-Russian trade centre and an important rail transit port with Central Asia and Europe in terms of goods volume handled, accounting for 60% of the trade flow between Beijing and Eastern Europe.

Cross-border cooperation is also developing in the e-commerce field, with the construction of warehouses and online platforms which have contributed to the growth of bilateral trade.

The agreements signed between Putin and Xi in Moscow concern some strategic sectors which aim to shift the centre of gravity of geopolitics towards the East and to guarantee a greater weight of the Southern world, with the international use of the yuan, and energy and technology supply.

China aims to increase the role of emerging countries different from the United States and the G7, with bodies such as the BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Belt Road, but also the G20 and the UN Security Council, with Moscow and Beijing jointly exercising veto rights.

In 2022, China increased imports from Russia by 43 percent, with a growth in trade with emerging regions and a decrease with the most advanced economies.

The goal of promoting the yuan as an international currency opposed to the dollar can be accelerated thanks to the trade with Moscow and the countries from the Southern world; the block on technology exports imposed by Washington and Brussels can be balanced by a collaboration in the technological field, in industry and defence with Russia.

According to customs data, Russia more than doubled its liquefied oil exports to China in 2022. China's imports of Russian gas increased by at least 50 percent in 2022, and the gas exported via the China-Russia East Route Pipeline reached 15 billion cubic meters.

Moscow ensures the uninterrupted export of gas and oil to China; Beijing commits to increase trade, Russia adopts the Chinese currency in every region and opens the Polar Silk Road to China with new routes in the Arctic.


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