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23 Oct, 2020 12:24

A powerful & game-changing Russia/China military alliance is ‘quite possible’ in future but not on the cards yet, says Putin

A powerful & game-changing Russia/China military alliance is ‘quite possible’ in future but not on the cards yet, says Putin

An alliance between two of the planet's three most powerful militaries would profoundly alter the world order. Vladimir Putin believes that it is possible in the future that Russia and China could unite, but not yet necessary.

Speaking on Thursday at a virtual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club, Putin stressed that Russia “does not need” an alliance with China, “but, theoretically, it's quite possible to imagine.” The superpowers are increasingly close, and conduct joint exercises together.

Valdai is a Russian think tank and forum established in 2004. It hosts an annual meeting attended by Putin. The event is usually held in Sochi, but because of the Covid-19 pandemic was condensed this year. 

“Russian-Chinese relations have reached an unprecedented high level,” the president said. “We treat each other with great confidence, have strong, stable, and, most importantly, effective working relations in all areas.”

Moscow and Beijing currently cooperate closely in many fields, including militarily. In September, China took part in Russia's large-scale joint exercise, Kavkaz-2020, along with other Kremlin allies. According to Putin, the two countries “exchange best practices in the field of military construction,” and have high-level cooperation in the technological sphere. As well as benefiting the Russian Armed Forces, the partnership also increases China’s defense capability, he explained.

“It's not only about the exchange of products, sales of military goods and the exchange of technologies,” the president explained. “There are some very sensitive things here.”

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Sino-Russian cooperation is currently primarily economic, with trade volume between the two countries exceeding $111 billion last year. In recent years, both Beijing and Moscow have focused on cross-border commerce and have worked together to de-dollarize. In the first quarter of 2020, the share of the greenback in trade between the countries fell below 50 percent for the first time. In August, top Russian analyst Alexey Maslov explained that the partnership between the superpowers is approaching a “breakthrough moment.”

“The collaboration between Russia and China in the financial sphere tells us that they are finally finding the parameters for a new alliance with each other,” Maslov told the Japanese publication Nikkei Asian Review.

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