Xi and Putin Take Aim At US Dollar Hegemony.
China’s President Xi Jinping traveled to Russia to meet Vladimir Putin, pledging “changes the likes of which we haven’t seen for 100 years”, agreeing to deepen economic integration and challenge the hegemony of the US dollar using yuan and other currencies in international trade.
Above Photo: Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Moscow on March 21, 2023.
China’s President Xi Jinping traveled to Russia to meet Vladimir Putin on March 20.
While in Moscow, Xi said, “Right now there are changes the likes of which we haven’t seen for 100 years, and we are the ones driving these changes together”. Putin replied, “I agree”.
The two leaders discussed plans to deepen economic integration.
Both took aim at the hegemony of the US dollar, in particular.
“It is important that our national currencies are increasingly used in bilateral trade”, Putin said on March 21. “We should continue promoting settlements in national currencies, and expand the reciprocal presence of financial and banking structures in our countries’ markets”.
Two-thirds of trade between China and Russia is already conducted in rubles and yuan, he revealed.
Putin called for the Chinese currency to be used globally.
“We support using Chinese yuan in transactions between the Russian Federation and its partners in Asia, Africa and Latin America”, he stated.
China-Russia trade is rapidly growing
Bilateral trade between China and Russia hit a record high of $190.27 billion in 2022, according to Beijing’s Global Times newspaper.
Trade between the two countries has grown by 116% since 2012.
“In 2019, China and Russia jointly set the goal of their bilateral trade reaching $200 billion by 2024. The bilateral trade is expected to exceed $200 billion this year ”, Global Times reported.
Their bilateral trade increased by more than 30% in 2022 alone.
“Trade in agricultural produce is growing even faster – by 41.4 percent in 2022”, Putin said, stressing the importance of “food security”.
The Russian president noted the two countries have “80 important and promising bilateral projects in various fields worth around $165 billion”.
Both leaders emphasized the role that the BRICS system and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) play in deepening their integration.
“We will strengthen our cooperation within multilateral structures, including the SCO, BRICS, and the Group of Twenty [G20], and will promote genuine multipolarity in a bid to facilitate post-pandemic global economic recovery, all while stepping up our constructive efforts to shape a multipolar world“, Xi said.
He invited Putin to visit China for the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. The Russian president attended the previous two conferences.
China and Russia are “working together in civil aircraft construction, shipbuilding, and auto manufacturing”, Putin stated. He added, “We stand ready to support Chinese businesses in replacing the Western enterprises that left Russia”.
Addressing the importance of “technological sovereignty”, Putin explained, “By combining our wealth of research capacity and industrial capabilities, Russia and China can become world leaders in information technology, cyber security, and artificial intelligence”.
Xi emphasized that China seeks to “prioritise high-quality development”, based on the goals established in the 20th national congress of the Communist Party of China in 2022.
Russia boosts energy exports to China, plans Power of Siberia 2 gas pipeline
“Energy cooperation is expanding. Russia is a strategic supplier of oil, natural gas, including LNG, coal, and electricity to China. The construction of nuclear power facilities continues”, Putin explained.
As an example of growing energy cooperation, Putin mentioned the Power of Siberia natural gas pipeline, which is overseen by state-owned companies: the China National Petroleum Corporation and Russia’s Gazprom.
“In 2022, Russia increased gas supplies to China via the Power of Siberia main pipeline by 50 percent”, Putin revealed.
Power of Siberia reflects Russia’s transition away from the West and toward economic integration with Asia.
In the March 21 talks, Putin revealed, “We have just discussed a good project, the new Power of Siberia-2 gas pipeline across Mongolia. We have reached agreement on most of the deal’s parameters”.
Construction of Power of Siberia 2 will allegedly start in 2024, according to Mongolia’s Prime Minister Luvsannamsrain Oyun-Erdene.
As Chinese president, Xi chose Russia for his first foreign trip
The Chinese leader illustrated how important Beijing considers its partnership with Moscow to be by pointing out that the meeting came “shortly after my most recent re-election as President of the PRC, and I chose Russia for my first foreign visit”.
Xi added “that exactly 10 years ago, when I first became President of the People’s Republic of China, I also chose Russia for my first foreign visit“.
Putin reflected, “It is symbolic that exactly ten years ago, we also met here, and it was your first visit to Russia as the President of the People’s Republic of China. Since then, we have made great strides in developing our relations. Our trade has more than doubled, from just over $87 billion, I believe, to almost $200, $185 billion to be exact”.
Putin commented, “The President of China and I remain in touch at all times. Apart from bilateral summits, we meet on the sidelines of international events, and regularly talk to each other on the phone and by videoconference to discuss matters of mutual interest”.
In a clear rejection of the West’s sanctions and new cold war on Moscow, Xi asserted, “No matter how the international landscape may change, China will stay committed to advancing the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era”.
Russia welcomes China’s proposal for Ukraine peace talks
A joint statement published by the Chinese Foreign Ministry disclosed that Xi and Putin discussed Beijing’s proposal for peace talks to end the proxy war in Ukraine.
“The Russian side reaffirms its commitment to the resumption of peace talks as soon as possible“, the statement said.
“The Russian side welcomes China’s willingness to play a positive role for the political and diplomatic settlement of the Ukraine crisis and welcomes the constructive proposals set forth in China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis”, it added.
“The two sides point out that to settle the Ukraine crisis, the legitimate security concerns of all countries must be respected, bloc confrontation should be prevented and fanning the flames avoided”, the statement emphasized.
The US government staunchly opposes China’s attempt at brokering peace in Ukraine.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the “U.S. is trying to head off a potential proposal from Beijing for a cease-fire in Ukraine”.
In their joint statement, China and Russia also underscored that the “two sides oppose any unilateral sanctions unauthorized by the UN Security Council”. This was a clear indication that Beijing rejects the Western sanctions imposed on Moscow.
The United States, Britain, and European Union have repeatedly sabotaged peace talks aimed at ending the proxy war in Ukraine, which were previously sponsored by officials from Türkiye and Israel.
Putin also stated that “Russia congratulates China on helping to successfully bring about historic outcomes from the talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran in Beijing”.
A few days before Xi visited Moscow, China, Russia, and Iran held joint military exercises.
Beijing’s Foreign Ministry commented, “This exercise will help deepen practical cooperation between the participating countries’ navies … and inject positive energy into regional peace and stability”.
This is exactly the scenario that former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski warned about in his 1997 book “The Grand Chessboard”.
He wrote that “the most dangerous scenario” that could prevent US control over Eurasia “would be a grand coalition of China, Russia, and perhaps Iran, an ‘antihegemonic’ coalition”.