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23 Mar, 2010 15:10

Russian-Chinese ties prosper despite global financial downturn

The Russian and Chinese economies have survived global financial crisis. China says Russia is a vital market for its businesses, and pledges massive investment into the country’s economy.

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping started his current visit to Russia in Vladivostok and then traveled to St. Petersburg, where a number of multi-million dollar deals have been signed. The final destination of Xi Jinping was Moscow, where he has held talks with Russian leader, President Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

At a meeting in Moscow, Vladimir Putin and the Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, hailed the strength of ties between the two countries, and said economic and political relations had never been better.

Martin Hennecke, an associate director at the Hong Kong investment and financial advice firm Thaik, believes Moscow and Beijing could now forge a counterbalance to the power of the West.

“Definitely it’s my personal great hope and even for investors I think this should be a very great hope because Western economy doesn’t even look as though they are recovering very fast, but in fact their financial systems are at risk of disintegration,” Hennecke told RT. “Clearly China looks much healthier than Western economies,” he added.

Apart from economic issues, energy security was high on the agenda of the meeting. The talks have been held on building an oil pipeline from Russia to China to ensure safer transit to Chinese customers.

Both Russia and China are members of BRIC – a group of emerging economies, including Brazil and India – and in the light of prospering ties between the group members amidst the global financial downturn, many analysts forecast a shift of global economic influence and growing importance and strength of BRIC countries.

Journalist Pepe Escobar, who has written extensively on globalization, says the BRIC states are starting to challenge the US economy.

“The BRIC countries are emerging as an alternative superpower, a counter-balance against the United States. They need a more unified voice and role on the global arena and this is happening,” Escobar told RT.