In 2023, trade volumes between China and Russia reached a record level.

Xi Jinping and Putin, taken in Brasilia on November, 2019. AP - Photography by Ramil Sitdikov

China’s customs said the two countries’ trade in goods and services will reach about US$240.1 billion in 2023, an increase of 26.3% in one year. This far exceeds the annual targets set by Putin and Xi Jinping.
Probably the main reason for the growth of Sino-Russian trade is China’s purchases of Russian energy sources such as oil, natural gas and coal.

The trend in trade between China and the United States is the opposite. Trade fell slightly last year for the first time since 2019 due to rising geopolitical and trade tensions. In 2023, China and the US exchanged goods and services worth US$664.4 billion. This figure is down 11.6% in one year from the record high in 2022.

Thus, even after the record growth of trade between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation in 2023 due to the war in Ukraine, the volume of trade in goods and services between the People’s Republic of China and the United States is 2.7 times greater: 664.4/240.1=2.8. The population of the USA is approximately as many times larger than the population of the Russian Federation in 2021: 332 million/143 million = 2.3.

The growth of trade for 2023 between the PRC and the Russian Federation by 26.3% in dollars is approximately 50 billion dollars. At the same time, the People’s Republic of China, which is actually waging a war against the world at the hands of Putin, continues to make money from trade with the United States, the European Union, ASEAN, Ukraine, and other countries.
The rhetorical question is whether Putin consulted with Xi Jinping before launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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