Russia-China Trade Jumps 26 Percent
Russia and China’s bilateral trade has increased by 25.7 percent in the last nine months, according to data released by China’s General Administration of Customs on October 12.
In 2016, annual trade turnover between Russia and China increased by 2.2 percent and amounted to $69.5 billion. This grew by another 20.8 percent the following year, reaching $84.1 billion.
Trade between the two countries amounted to $77.2 billion from January to September. Exports from China to Russia grew by 12.7 percent to $35.2 billion while Russian exports to China grew by 39.2 percent to over $41.9 billion. Trade turnover between the two is expected to reach $100 billion by the end of the year.
“We can be pleased with the way our relations [with China] develop,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said on October 18. “We rate highly the additional efforts toward the development of Russian-Chinese relations that we and [our] Chinese friends make.” He said that Russia and China will continue to develop a close relationship amidst the trade war between China and the United States.
According to a statement released by the Russian government, both countries plan to “increase Russia’s trade with China to $200 billion.” The time frame for reaching this ambitious goal is 2024.
One area where this growth is taking place is in energy trade. When Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, it was punished with heavy sanctions by the West. As a result of these sanctions, Russia looked to China for economic help. The results of this “pivot to the east” are two of the largest transactions in human history.
In May 2014, Russia and China agreed to a staggering $400 billion gas deal. This deal allowed the construction of Power of Siberia, a nearly 2,000-mile pipeline that will run across Russia and China and will be completed by the end of this year.
With China switching from coal to gas as an energy source and an ongoing trade war against the U.S., a second pipeline could be built across Russia and China. Nur Bekri, director of the National Energy Administration of China, said that an agreement on the Power of Siberia 2 pipeline (also known as the Western Route) could be signed in the middle of 2019. “If we can agree on the ‘Western Route,’ then it will be more than 80 billion cubic meters,” Bekri told tass. If Russia and China conclude this deal, Russia will become China’s largest gas supplier.
Russia and China have also been increasing their military cooperation.
The two militaries have held 30 joint military drills since 2003. Among these, the Vostok 2018 war games were the most significant. Held from September 11 to 17, Vostok superseded Zapad-81, the Soviet Union’s largest military exercises conducted in 1981. More than 300,000 troops, 1,000 aircraft, 36,000 vehicles, and 80 ships took part, making Vostok 2018 one of the largest-ever military drills in human history.
Russia and China frequently conduct military drills together, but Russia has never invited China to participate in a drill this important. The Wall Street Journal wrote:
Since 2005, Russia and China have participated in smaller tactical military exercises, but the presence of Chinese troops at an exercise like Vostok puts China on a par with Moscow’s firmest military allies.
Following the Vostok war games, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, after meeting with his Chinese counterpart, said that Russia and China would conduct routine war games similar in size to Vostok 2018. “We have agreed to conduct such exercises on a regular basis,” Shoigu said.
Russia and China are scheduled to hold another joint military drill later this year in the Yellow Sea, which is located between China and South Korea. Senior Col. Wu Qiang, the spokesman for the Chinese Defense Ministry, announced on April 26 that “the armed forces of both countries plan to hold the Joint Sea 2018 drills in the coastal area of the city of Qingdao this year.”
It is becoming easy to forget that Russian-Chinese relations have not always been so close. After World War ii, China and the Soviet Union engaged in border disputes and fought a minor war in 1969.
One analyst proclaimed to the world that Russia and China would reach out to one another and form a strong military partnership, like they have today. This analyst’s name was Herbert W. Armstrong.
Mr. Armstrong’s forecasts of Russia forming an alliance with China go all the way back to 1934. He maintained this forecast even when Russian-Chinese relations were tense. He wrote in the December 1959 issue of the Plain Truth:
Russia’s program … calls first for the seizure of Asia. … [Russia’s and China’s] constant dream for centuries has been ultimate world conquest! … China knows, however, that in this highly industrialized age she can accomplish this dream only as an ally of Russia. … China is now ready to begin devouring the rest of Asia with Russia’s secret military backing.
Mr. Armstrong’s forecasts were informed by Bible prophecy. Ezekiel 38 forecasts an Asian bloc led primarily by Russia, with China as a secondary power. Verse 2 reads, “Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal ….” In the April 1981 issue of the Plain Truth, Mr. Armstrong wrote:
There is general agreement among students of prophecy that “Gog” in the land of “Magog” is the vast regions of northern Eurasia extending from the Baltic to the Pacific [modern Russia and China]. “Meshech” is Moscow; “Tubal” is Tobolsk [formerly considered Russia’s Asian capital]. The Bible margin says “Prince of Rosh,” which is [a variation of an ancient name for] Russia.
Mr. Armstrong was right. Russia and China have grown closer together. Russia and China have become strong allies and are fulfilling Bible prophecy. Watch the development of the Russia-China axis and see Bible prophecy materialize before your eyes.