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

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.

China-Russia railway tunnel with military cargo explosed – 4000 kilometers from the border with Ukraine

The X-account “rainbow7852” (@rainbow78521) posted on the social platform today that on November 30, a large explosion occurred in the Severomuisky tunnel connecting Russia and China in Buryatia, Russia.

Without evidence, it is assumed that the SBU (State Security Service of Ukraine) planted four explosive devices in the tunnels. When the explosion occurred, a train with 41 fuel tanks, 3 jet fuel tanks and 6 ferrous metal cars was passing through the tunnel. This choice reflects careful preparation. With the tunnel blown up, it will be more difficult to transport Chinese military aid, drones and other goods to Russia.

According to British media outlet the Daily Mail, the North Muisky tunnel is approximately 2,480 miles (about 3,991 kilometers) from the Ukrainian border and is the deepest point in Russia where Ukraine has launched an attack so far. According to available data, this actually proves Ukraine’s ability to conduct military operations on Russian territory.

Huge networks of railways, power grids, and gas pipelines in the vast, sparsely populated territory of Russia are very vulnerable to various attacks.

How Xi Jinping saved the Russian army from defeat in Ukraine

Since Putin ordered a brazen invasion of Ukraine last February, Russia has been hit with a series of tough sanctions from the European Union, the United States, Canada and other countries. But Xi Jinping still calls Russia a strategic ally and provides overt and covert aid to the aggressors. Clear assistance is geopolitical support for Russia’s war in Ukraine. Less obvious is the implicit material assistance provided by the PRC to the Russian occupation forces in Ukraine and the military industry in Russia.

Everyone saw that the counteroffensive of the Ukrainian army was advancing more slowly than everyone expected. As it turned out, China’s material support of Russia allowed Putin to maintain his military machine and seriously complicated Ukraine’s large-scale counteroffensive against the Russian occupation forces.

Xi Jinping is helping Moscow very cautiously. He avoided crossing the red line – he does not give Russia lethal weapons.

However, the massive export of construction equipment, machinery and industrial products from China to Russia is the key to maintaining the operational efficiency of the Russian military industry. Vladimir Putin visited Beijing last month to participate in the Belt and Road Forum (formerly Belt and Road) and meet with Xi Jinping.

State trade data compiled by the Atlantic Council, a major US think tank, shows a sharp increase in Russian imports of Chinese-made dual-use goods. These materials played an important role in strengthening the positions of the Russian army of occupation in Ukraine.

The German business publication IntelliNews reported that the vast majority of materials imported by Russia from China are legal trade and are not subject to international sanctions against Russia.

But Chinese-made construction equipment helped the Russian army strengthen its defensive positions in the early stages of the Russian-Ukrainian war, especially in the construction of powerful fortifications.

The export of Chinese equipment to Russia prevented the defeat of the Russian army.

In August and September 2022, Ukraine made significant progress in countering Russian aggression, especially in the Kharkiv region. Faced with disaster, the Russian army began to build defensive positions. They established the so-called “Surovikin line” (in command of the occupying forces).

“In September, exports of excavators from China to Russia more than tripled compared to last year, which coincided with the construction of the Surovikin Line,” the Atlantic Council said in a statement.

The report also suggests that Russia’s large-scale import of Chinese equipment, including heavy-duty trucks, could help Russian military factories produce the equipment needed to support its combat capabilities and logistical supply lines.

Interpol issued an arrest warrant for Putin on charges of terrorism. Along with Putin, an arrest warrant was also issued to the president’s commissioner for children’s rights, Maria Lvova-Belova. As Reuters notes, according to the arrest warrant, Putin and Lvova-Belova can be arrested and transferred to the ICC in any of the 123 countries that have ratified the Rome Statute.

Ukraine has been the third source of EU imports

China is losing agricultural imports from Ukraine. The reason is the support of Russian aggression against Ukraine.

Ukraine has been the third source of EU imports, with
a value of EUR 8 billion since January. Cumulative
imports between January and August remained 23%
higher compared to 2022, with an increase of EUR 1.5
billion. However, monthly imports have slowed along
the year and have been below their 2022 level since
June.

Brazil stands as the first source of EU agri-food
imports, with a value of EUR 11.9 billion between
January and August 2023. However, imports from
Brazil decreased by 10% (-EUR 1.4 billion) compared
to 2022, in particular for coffee, cereals, and oilseeds
and protein crops (partly due to fewer imports).
UK is the second source of EU agri-food imports, with
EUR 10.1 billion since January. This is a EUR 442
million increase (+5%) compared to 2022, mostly in
cereals and cereal preparations.

Other significant increases of imports can be noted
from Turkiye (+EUR 615 million, +17%) compared to
2022, as well as from Egypt (+EUR 477 million,
+48%), mostly for fruit and vegetables in both cases.

Source  MONITORING EU AGRI-FOOD TRADE DEVELOPMENTS in August 2023
Publication: November 2023