Russia–China trade up almost 30% this year
Trade between China and Russia grew by nearly a third in the first quarter of the year, according to Chinese Customs data, cited by RIA Novosti.
In the first three months of 2017, bilateral trade amounted to $18.1 billion. Chinese exports to Russia increased by 22.4 percent compared to the same period last year to $8.43 billion. Russian exports to China grew by 36.1 percent to $9.66 billion.
In 2016, trade between Russia and China grew by 2.2 percent to $69.5 billion, as Chinese exports to Russia rose by 7.3 percent to $37.3 billion, while imports from Russia fell by 3.1 percent to $32.3 billion.
In an interview with the Sputnik news agency last month, Zhang Xiao, the deputy to the Chinese ambassador to Russia, said Beijing expects a breakthrough in trade between the countries this year.
"After a downturn in 2015 due to external factors, Russia-China trade returned to growth in 2016. Over the course of 2016, turnover between Russia and China reached $69.5 billion, a 2.2 percent increase against the previous year," Zhang Xiao said.
While a 2.2 percent growth is not significant, it is very important considering the unfavorable conditions in the global economy and a decrease in Chinese foreign trade volumes, he said.
Besides trade, Russia and China also have a number of investment projects. The countries are jointly building the Power of Siberia gas pipeline and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility on the Yamal Peninsula in the Russian Arctic. The countries are also working on a wide-body passenger jet to rival Airbus and Boeing and several other projects.