As Russia’s relations with the West continue to deteriorate, China is becoming a key ally for the ostracized country. Just how far have they come?
Below are four facts that show just how tight the Russia/China partnership has become in the face of western isolation.
1.) A high speed rail from Moscow to Beijing has been approved
If approval for $242 billion high speed rail is any indication, both China and Russia are about to be linked both ideologically and literally.
The rail, which is set to traverse central Asia, shortening the trip from Moscow to Beijing from six days to just two, will compete with the Trans-Siberian Railway, facilitating both travel and commerce between the two.
$6 billion in infrastructure deal have already been signed between the two in May 2015.
2.) Russia sells missile defense system to China
In April 2015, Russia opened up the sale of one of its most advanced missile defense systems, the S-400, to foreign buyers for the first time – specifically, China. The deal includes at least three missile defense units and costs over $3 billion.
While this isn’t the first time that China and Russia have traded arms, it has been seen as a major step in strengthening military ties between the two nations.
3.) Their fossil fuel trades are burgeoning
Russia and China have made great strides in solidifying their economic relationship – especially in regard to oil and natural gas.
In addition to a $400 billion gas deal which was signed in May 2014, the two countries have also agreed upon a similar gas deal which is set to supply China with 30 billion cubic meters of gas from Siberia.
Both deals are a part of the broad One Belt, One Road initiative by Chinese President Xi Jinping. A plan that plans on investing across neighboring Asian countries as well as Eurasia.
4.) Potential military cooperation
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s presence at Russia’s Victory Day Parade isn’t the only indicator of a rising alliance between the two nations.
Joint naval exercises, involving nine sea vessels, between China and Russia are set to take place in May, and despite Chinese denial, have signaled to some that Russia and China are forming a de facto alliance.
Already, the China-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization, though it involves other countries outside of China and Russia, can be viewed as a precursor to coordinated foreign affairs between the two. The organization is geared mainly towards coordinating counterterrorism measures in Eurasia and surrounding regions.