Western pressure brings Russia & China closer

Western pressure brings Russia & China closer
Trade tensions between China and the US as well as the expulsion of Russian diplomats by Western countries could drive Moscow and Beijing to form closer ties, Chinese analysts say.

“China and Russia are developing closer ties not only due to their previous good cooperation but also because of changes in the international environment. Western countries are putting political pressure on Russia and the US is provoking China into a trade war,” Gao Fei, professor of Russian studies at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times.

On Wednesday, Beijing announced it will hit 106 American products with a 25-percent tariff in response to US levies on Chinese goods. The countermeasure will follow the unveiling of a preliminary US list of imports from China that will be slapped by tariff hikes ordered by President Donald Trump last month.

China does not consider any country an enemy, said Gao, adding that Beijing and Moscow need to work together to deal with the more complicated international situations.

“Future cooperation may focus more on fixing the vulnerable cooperation fields, especially trade and business exchanges, which do not match the closer political exchanges,” he said.

New Chinese Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe, who is attending the Seventh Moscow International Security Conference, said his visit to Russia on Tuesday is a signal to the US about the increasingly close military ties between Moscow and Beijing.

“Let the Americans know about the close ties between the armed forces of China and Russia,” said Wei.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China Wang Yi will be also visiting Moscow this week, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

An expert on Sino-Russian relations from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Sun Zhuangzhi, said Wang's visit is paving the way for meetings between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Putin is planning a visit to China in conjunction with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in June.

China and Russia have taken different measures in dealing with international issues that target them, said Sun. 

“China will take countermeasures in response to US tariffs on Chinese exports, while Russia has shown restraint in order to preserve its close economic ties with some Western countries.”

The expert explained there will be no return to the Cold War, and both China and Russia need to work to resolve disputes in problematic areas.

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