China and Russia intensify their opposition to the US

Tue Apr 09 2024
Lucy Harlow (4108 articles)
China and Russia intensify their opposition to the US

Russia and China have expressed their commitment to strengthening their alliance and shared concerns about what they perceive as the U.S.’s efforts to exert global dominance. Moscow is also seeking to enhance trade with Beijing as it explores alternative avenues to circumvent the Western sanctions imposed due to its actions in Ukraine.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had a meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing on Tuesday, following the U.S.’s heightened warnings for China to reconsider its support for Russia in their conflict with a neighboring country. The meeting, which occurred after separate discussions with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, also took place amidst a rising competition for power in the global south between the West on one side, and China and Russia and their allies on the other.

In his remarks following the discussions, Lavrov expressed views reminiscent of the Cold War era. He also voiced his criticism of what he perceived as the West’s tendency to align with Washington and the United States’ efforts to influence the rest of the world.

Dictatorship, hegemony, neocolonial and colonial practices have no place in today’s world. The United States and the rest of the collective West are unquestioningly submitting to the will of Washington, as stated by Lavrov.

China has consistently maintained a stance of neutrality regarding the Ukraine war, while also strengthening economic relations with Russia. This has provided crucial support to Russian President Vladimir Putin in stabilizing his economy despite facing Western sanctions.

Beijing has also aimed to establish itself as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine, sending an envoy to Moscow, Kyiv, and other capitals. The proposal made last year to resolve the conflict was dismissed by European officials who believed that China was aligning too closely with Russia’s stance.

Wang expressed China’s desire for a prompt cease-fire and resolution to the war, while Lavrov expressed gratitude towards China for their fair and impartial stance, as well as their willingness to contribute positively to the political and diplomatic resolution.

Although the U.S. has not formally accused China of supplying lethal aid to Moscow, it has become more and more critical of other forms of assistance provided by Beijing. American officials argue that this support strengthens Russia’s capacity to wage its war.

During a recent call, President Biden expressed his concerns to Xi about Beijing’s alleged support for Russia’s defense industry.

During a recent visit to China, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressed her concerns to officials about Chinese companies that assist in Russia’s military procurement. She emphasized that there will be significant consequences for such actions.

Beijing has refuted any involvement in weapon sales to Russia and dismissed its warnings, while also accusing Washington of exacerbating the conflict by providing arms to Ukraine.

Lavrov further alleged that the U.S. has been bolstering its alliances in the Asia-Pacific region with the intention of directing its focus towards Russia and China.

President Biden is convening a trilateral summit this week with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan and Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. The summit is anticipated to cover discussions on addressing China’s escalating territorial ambitions in the South China Sea.

According to Lavrov, the American alliances have a clear bias against China and Russia. He criticized the U.S. for attempting to disrupt the established security framework surrounding the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), which consists of 10 states in Southeast Asia.

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Chinese companies have reportedly sold microchips, jamming equipment, and jet-fighter parts to Russian entities. Chinese exports of earth moving equipment to Russia have also increased significantly since the start of the war, potentially supporting the construction efforts of Russian forces in Ukraine, according to analysts.

Since 2022, the U.S. has implemented trade restrictions on numerous Hong Kong and Chinese entities due to their sale of equipment to Russia that aids its military.

Last year, the trade between Russia and China witnessed a significant growth of over 26%, reaching a total value of $240 billion.

Energy played a crucial role in Russian exports, with China emerging as a prominent buyer due to its disregard for Western price restrictions. In the previous month, China experienced a significant increase in the amount of Russian crude it received, while Indian purchases declined due to concerns surrounding sanctions, according to shipping-data company Vortexa.

In early 2022, Xi and Putin proclaimed an unrestricted friendship between their nations, only for Russia to subsequently invade Ukraine in February 2022. Although Beijing has attempted to downplay that declaration on occasion, it has refrained from condemning Putin’s actions as a war. Instead, it has referred to it as the “Ukraine crisis.”

The China-Russia relationship is strengthened by the strong personal bond shared between Xi and Putin. The two individuals have had numerous meetings throughout the past decade, with the Chinese leader referring to Putin as a close friend. Last year, China warmly received Putin for another visit, which marked his first significant foreign trip following accusations of war crimes in Ukraine by the International Criminal Court.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov informed reporters on Tuesday that Lavrov’s visit to Beijing could be seen as a prelude to future high-level engagements between the two countries. However, he refrained from confirming any plans for the Kremlin leader’s visit to China later this year.

Lucy Harlow

Lucy Harlow

Lucy Harlow is a senior Correspondent who has been reporting about Equities, Commodities, Currencies, Bonds etc across the globe for last 10 years. She reports from New York and tracks daily movement of various indices across the Globe