The bilateral trade turnover between Moscow and Beijing has surged by 36.5 percent from January to July, reaching over $134.1 billion, according to data released by the Chinese General Administration of Customs.
China's exports to Russia witnessed an impressive 73.4 percent surge in the reporting period, amounting to $62.545 billion, while imports of Russian goods and services rose by 15.1 percent, totaling $71.559 billion, as per the figures released.
In contrast, China's trade relations with other countries and places have seen a decline. Taiwan, South Korea, New Zealand, and the US observed the most significant decrease globally. Trade between the United States and China also contracted by 12.3 percent compared to the previous year, indicating a substantial decline.
Russia and China have set an ambitious goal of increasing bilateral trade turnover to $200 billion by 2024 amidst escalating tensions with the West. A relevant roadmap was endorsed following a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in 2022.
Despite a series of economic sanctions imposed by Washington on both Russia and China, which temporarily hindered the process of boosting bilateral trade, these tensions arguably brought the two countries closer and advanced a plan to shift away from using the American greenback in favor of conducting business in their respective national currencies. The use of national currencies has become a long-term priority for Russia, which has faced repeated sanctions from the United States and the European Union since 2014, primarily due to the war in Ukraine.
China, proclaiming "unbounded" friendship with its northern neighbor, stands as Russia's largest trade partner, with trade between the two nations surpassing $190.27 billion by the end of 2022, marking a 29.3 percent increase compared to the previous year, according to recent data from China's General Administration of Customs.
China has retained its position as Russia's largest trading partner for the 13th consecutive year, while Russia ranks among China's top 20 major trading partners. Currently, China holds a 22 percent share in Russian international trade. The world's second-largest economy predominantly exports electromechanical products and imports oil, coal, and lumber from neighboring Russia.
The deepening of economic ties between Russia and China is occurring at a crucial juncture. Russia has been subjected to unprecedented Western sanctions since its incursion into Ukraine, resulting in exclusion from a significant portion of the global economy. Concurrently, relations between Beijing and Washington have deteriorated due to trade tensions during the Trump era, tensions over Taiwan, and the reported incident involving a downed Chinese spy balloon over the United States earlier this year.
Some experts posit that if the geopolitical situation between Beijing and Washington does not improve, Russia might surpass the United States as China's leading trade partner by 2030, assuming current growth and retrenchment trends persist.