China scare: How Beijing’s ties with Putin could see US power crumble



CHINA and Russia have become two huge opponents to Western allies inside and outside of the NATO alliance – and their latest plans for cooperation indicate that a fearsome new alliance could be forming with the aim of replacing the US as the major power.

This week, a new gas pipeline running 1800km between China and Russia commenced operation as the five year old project is finally completed. Also known as the ‘Power of Siberia’ pipeline, the new development brings President Donald Trump’s two biggest political adversaries yet closer together as China and Russia confide in one another amid their own ongoing tensions with the West.

Russia President Vladimir Putin described the new gas link as a “genuinely historical event….for us, for Russia and China”.

He added that the project “takes Russia-China energy cooperation to a whole new level and brings us closer to achieving the goal set together with Chinese President Xi Jinping of extending bilateral trade turnover to $200billion (£150billion) in 2024”.

Meanwhile, China’s President Xi Jinping said: “The start of a new stage of our co-operation…all-encompassing partnership and strategic co-operation entering a new epoch.

Russia and China, having been hostile towards one another in the Soviet era, have now become arguably each other’s most important friend as the US aim to attack both countries’ economies.

The economic bickering between the US and China had been simmering for some time, but boiled over when US President Trump raised tariffs and raised devastating trade barriers in 2018 after the US grew restless due to unfair trade methods from Beijing.

Washington complaints included theft of trade secrets, theft of intellectual property and forced transfer of US technology to China.

The subsequent fallout is yet to be resolved as both countries continue talks, but the economic impact on both has been huge, particularly on China as it looks to propel itself into dominance.

This has suddenly made Russia a lot more valuable a partner to Chinese President Xi Jinping, meaning the Kremlin has benefited from closer ties between the two countries.

In June, Xi and Mr Putin signed huge deals to further integrate the Russian and Chinese economies, including an agreement for Huawei to develop 5G in Russia, a deal on research and technology development and agreements on natural gas.

China is also Russia’s biggest trade partner while Moscow is Beijing’s biggest weapon supplier.

Russia too has been hit by Western economic hostility in the form of sanctions following its annexation of Crimea in 2014.

But, in the spirit of growing friendships between Beijing and Moscow, China has also waded in on the situation in Eastern Europe.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is expanding his country’s influence across the world to contribute towards his Belt and Road Initiative, investing in infrastructure, transport and trade all over the world to aid the Asian superpower’s quest for dominance.

Ukraine is located in an ideal position to link Chinese trade to EU countries, but the benefits for China do not just cover trade.

Strengthened links between China and the Ukraine could see Beijing modernise its military, something that would cause even more concern for those watching on in NATO.

Ukraine is the second biggest weapons supplier to China, and The Diplomat also reports that China is trying to acquire an aircraft and helicopter engine manufacturer – Motor Sich – which could see China’s aviation improve as arms races with the US and Russia continue to escalate.

While many in the West see standing up to Russia and China as imperative, the US and NATO will be growing weary of the increased cooperation between the two powers.