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Ukraine: The war brought Russia and China closer together

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War profit for China thanks to trade with Russia

Ουκρανiα: Ο πoλεμος Εφερε πι ο κοντα Ρωσλα – Κλνα

Keith Bradcher/The New York Times

Car dealerships in the Chinese city of Hei, on the border with Russia, are doing business, with sales to the neighboring country soaring following the imposition of sanctions. The city is a microcosm of the close economic relationship Russia and China have forged, with Beijing exporting everything from cars to microchips to Russia and Moscow promoting oil and gas at preferential prices. Russian chocolates, sausages and other consumer products abound on Chinese supermarket shelves, with trade between the two countries expected to exceed $200 billion by 2023.

Chinese media broadcast only Russian propaganda, while Russia is so popular that Chinese social media stars rush to Harbin, the capital of the northernmost Chinese province, to be photographed in traditional Russian clothing in front of the local Orthodox temple.

President Xi visited Harbin in early September and declared Heilongjiang province a “gateway to the North”.

Before the invasion of Ukraine, European leaders had sidelined their human rights concerns in China, emphasizing trade. Chinese officials, for their part, insist today that they should not be forced to choose between Russia and Europe for their trade.

The biggest winners from the boom in trade between China and Russia have been the Chinese car manufacturers, as can be seen from the long line of trucks that cross the Amur River, the border between the two countries, every day to load cars destined for the Russian market. Although the luxury car market has collapsed in Russia due to Western sanctions, sales of small Chinese vehicles have soared.

One reason for this phenomenon is the payment of state compensation to families of those killed on the Ukrainian front, which allows poor Russian households to acquire a new car.

Russian consumers buy almost exclusively vehicles with internal combustion engines, with China having a surplus of these as the Chinese turn to electric cars.

Source: www.kathimerini.com.cy

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