Connect with us

China

Growing Russia-China relations pose increased threat to the West

Published

on

Russia China 416699473

As Ukraine is launching a successful counter-offensive against Russia, even if Ukraine is ultimately victorious, Russia will still provide significant challenges to the West. The greatest of these challenges is the growing expansion of Russia’s relationship with China. This relationship is growing in several ways.

Military Cooperation

Russia and China have increased military cooperation. The two countries recently took part in a large-scale military exercise, called Vostok-2022, along with troops from fourteen other countries including several from the former Soviet Union, India, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Syria and Laos. China sent 2,000 people and over 300 vehicles to the exercise, which represented the second largest contribution. The British government believesthat a total of 15,000 military personnel took part in the drill. While this marked the fourth time China has participated in military drills with Russia, this was the first time that China had its air, ground and naval forces represented.

Chinese media was quick to downplay this exercise as harmless. For example, China Daily quoted both a Chinese expert and the Russian Deputy Defense minister as stating that Vostok-2022 was defensive and not targeting any specific state.

But the reality of the drills suggests otherwise. During the drills, China and Russia simulated submarine hunting in the Sea of Japan, which are disputed waters between Russia and Japan, and also participated in naval cooperation in the South China Sea, disputed waters between China, Taiwan and several other countries.

An additional development to watch is to what extent China is supporting Russia’s war effort in Ukraine. Li Zhanshu, the third in command in the Chinese Communist Party, met with members of Russia’s State Duma where he stated that “China understands and supports Russia on issues that represent its vital interests, in particular on the situation in Ukraine.” Li added that China “fully understand[s] the necessity of all the measures taken by Russia aimed at protecting its key interests. We are providing our assistance.” Russia has asked China for armed drones in February, shortly before it invaded Ukraine.

And China currently imports about 70 percent of its arms from Russia, with China being Russia’s second largest client for arms exports. But increased Chinese domestic production, and Russian suspicion of Chinese theft of its technology may hamstring Chinese purchases of Russian arms in the future.

Energy Cooperation

Russia and China are growing closer in energy cooperation as well. Russia’s Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) agreed to pay for Russian gas for China in rubles and yuan, rather than dollars, further throwing the future status of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency in doubt. Gazprom and CNPC also signed an agreement earlier this month regarding the Power of Siberia pipeline, but no details are public. Russia plans to export 38 billion cubic meters (bcms) of liquified natural gas to China in 2025 via the Power of Siberia pipeline, which is up from 1.6 bcms in 2021, and 5 bcms in 2019, the first year that the pipeline was operational. By 2021, China was the biggest importer of both Russia’s crude oil and condensate exports, and coal. And Russia became China’s biggest source of oil in June 2022. Expect greater Russia-China cooperation on energy in the future.

Trade and Infrastructure Cooperation

Trade between Russia and China had increased 36 percent in 2021 alone, and by April 2022 had increased to $146.9 billion. According to the Russian Economic Development Minister, bi-lateral trade should reach $170 billion by the end of 2022, and according to Putin, this trade will “soon” reach $200 billion. And according to Global Times, the biggest investor in Russia’s Far East region is China, with $14.7 billion in total trade investments involving 54 projects in sectors including energy, infrastructure, agriculture, and Artic shipping.  During the recent Eastern Economic Forum held in Vladivostock, Russia and China reportedly signed “over 150 deals worth 1.53 trillion rubles” [$2.38 billion]. While this statistic is from China’s state-run media and could not be independently verified, economic cooperation between Russia and China is poised to grow.

Russia and China are expanding their military, energy and economic ties. These two countries are positioning themselves to be a threat to the West, even beyond the conflicts with Ukraine and Taiwan.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Immigration

DOJ federal indictment connects Sinaloa Cartel and Chinese ‘underground banking’

Published

on

Screen Shot 2019 06 24 at 5.32.38 PM

The Justice Department (DOJ) announced a huge connection between Chinese organized crime and the Sinaloa drug cartel. In a press release the DOJ reported a 10-count superseding indictment charging Los Angeles-based associates of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel with conspiring with money-laundering groups linked to Chinese underground banking to launder drug trafficking proceeds. During the conspiracy, more than $50 million in drug proceeds flowed between the Sinaloa Cartel associates and Chinese underground money exchanges.”

The indictment was the result of a multi-year investigation into the conspiracy—dubbed “Operation Fortune Runner”— unsealed on Monday charging a total of 24 defendants with one count of conspiracy to aid and abet the distribution of cocaine and methamphetamine, one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, and one count of conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business, according to the press release.

“Dangerous drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine are destroying people’s lives but drug traffickers only care about their profits,” said United States Attorney Martin Estrada. “To protect our community, therefore, it is essential that we go after the sophisticated, international criminal syndicates that launder the drug money. As this indictment and our international actions show, we will be dogged in our pursuit of all those who facilitate destruction in our country and make sure they are held accountable for their actions.”

“Drug traffickers generate immense amounts of cash through their illicit operations. This case is a prime example of Chinese money launderers working hand in hand with drug traffickers to try to legitimize profits generated by drug activities,” said Chief Guy Ficco of IRS Criminal Investigation. “We have made it a priority to identify, disrupt, and dismantle any money launderers working with drug cartels and we are committed to our partnerships with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to combat drug cartels and those who assist them in laundering drug proceeds.”

The Justice.Gov website explains of the indictment: “Following close coordination with the Justice Department, Chinese and Mexican law enforcement informed United States authorities that those countries recently arrested fugitives named in the superseding indictment who fled the United States after they were initially charged last year.”

Continue Reading

Trending