China, Russia move to replace the dollar

Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, gestures while speaking to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, March 20, 2023. (Sergei Karpukhin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)
By Dénes Albert
4 Min Read

Russian-Chinese relations have reached their highest level in history, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who held talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Moscow earlier this week. The two leaders reached agreements on eight strategic issues, including an agreement to settle bilateral trade with their Asian, African and American partners in the yuan currency.

One of the central topics was the Siberia 2 gas pipeline project, with RIA Novosti reporting that all parameters of the project have been agreed upon. According to the news agency’s report, the new pipeline could bring 50 billion cubic meters of gas a year to China via Mongolia, which would mean a “reliable, stable supply from Russia.” Putin also said that Moscow backs Beijing’s plan regarding trading in the yuan currency and even explicitly urges that international trade with Asian, African and American countries be settled in the currency.

The two leaders put on a strong show of unity during Xi’s visit to Moscow, which analysts say may represent a serious threat to Western hegemony.

“Making Russia the first visit for Chinese leaders makes sense historically because we have been each other’s largest neighboring country. We are also strategic partners. For years, our relationship has withstood the test of various changes and become stronger as time goes by,” said Xi during a televised meeting with Putin.

Regarding Russian-Chinese relations, the Russian president said that the role of their respective national currencies should be further strengthened and the mutual presence of financial and banking structures should be expanded. He added that two-thirds of trade between the two countries is already conducted in rubles and yuan.

It was also mentioned that Russia and China intend to set up a working group to develop the transit potential of the North Sea route, in parallel with increasing Russian LNG supplies to China.

IT cooperation between the two countries could also be strengthened. Putin said: Russia and China can become world leaders in the development of artificial intelligence and information technology if they combine their potential.

The war in Ukraine was also on the agenda, as well as the Chinese peace plan, the issue of sanctions, and the news that London is ready to transfer depleted uranium ammunition to Ukraine. As for this last, Putin gently hinted that any threat would be met with a proportionate response, and then added: “The collective West seems determined to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian.”

The two heads of state both condemned the sanctions policy, saying it was an unfair way for the West to discourage its competitors from developing and was not in the interest of peace.

China’s diplomatic arm is also continuing its criticism of Western policy in relation to the Ukraine war.

The United States claims to prevent war, but there are only a handful of conflicts and wars that break out in Europe, and even the world, that have nothing to do with the United States. It claims to maintain peace, but people cannot see any practical measures that are committed to peace. They only see the continuous supply of weapons to the battlefield,” said Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

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