Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will meet with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow today. This meeting follows the two countries’ trilateral meeting with India last month, where they discussed strengthening strategic ties.
In the interest of building an alliance against the US, Russia has long been interested in building a strong relationship with China. Amid increasing US tariffs, Moscow has become a more attractive partner for Beijing. As natural resources and hydrocarbons are Russia’s main exports, China being the biggest importer of crude oil is opportune for Moscow. Trade between the two countries grew by 15% last year.
Despite the strengthening relationship, the two countries’ economic relationship is still facing hurdles. Russia is only China’s tenth export partner and is not one of its top ten importers. A high-speed rail project linking Moscow to Beijing has struggled to progress, while construction of a rail bridge over the Amur River connecting the two countries has also failed.
As the US-China relationship becomes more tense, expect China to renew its interest in Russia. However, do not expect a strong economic partnership in the near future.
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Saira is an analyst in the Current Developments team, where she focuses her research on the Middle East and North Africa region.