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Putin’s Strategic Move: Forging a Powerful Anti-West Alliance in China

Putin’s Strategic Move: Forging a Powerful Anti-West Alliance in China

Despite the political rhetoric of a strong alliance between Russia and China, the business activity in their border zones does not reflect the same level of success. The newly-built bridge into Blagoveshchensk from Heihe, which was celebrated as a symbol of a new era in cross-border trade, remains largely unused, with no vehicles seen crossing it for hours. Additionally, two large shopping centers in Heihe have been closed for lack of patronage, highlighting the lack of tourists and potential buyers in the area.

This lack of business activity is in stark contrast to the positive image portrayed by the political leaders of both countries. While the alliance may serve as reassurance for the governments when they face isolation on the world stage, the economic benefits promised by the partnership have not materialized in the border zones.

However, there are some sectors that have seen an increase in trade between Russia and China. Lorry drivers waiting to enter the riverboat port report busier activity, with goods such as soybeans, wheat, barley, sand, coal, and food being transported between the two countries. The port entrance appears busy, with cranes lifting and lowering various materials onto waiting lorries.

The preference for crossing between the countries by boat instead of using the new bridge could be attributed to cost factors. Additionally, new Russian tariffs on some Chinese goods have dampened the trade atmosphere, affecting certain business sectors.

Despite the challenges in trade, China has been supporting Russia by increasing the import of Russian natural gas into its northeastern province of Heilongjiang. Furthermore, the Chinese government has successfully mobilized public support for Vladimir Putin’s war efforts in Ukraine through state-controlled media.

In conclusion, while the political alliance between Russia and China may be strong, the promised economic benefits have not been fully realized in the border zones. The lack of business activity and closed shopping centers indicate a disconnect between the political rhetoric and the reality on the ground. However, there are still sectors that have seen increased trade, and China continues to support Russia in various ways.

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