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17 October 2016
Russia, China & Independent Allies Forming 'New Alliance in Opposition to US'
The growing alliance between Russia and China represents a challenge to the US control of the world's money markets which will lead to a fundamental change in global politics, Iranian political scientist Abdoulkarim Firouzkalaei told Sputnik Persian.
"One of the most important reactions by Russia, aimed at reducing the effects of Western sanctions and strengthening the country's economy, has been the expansion of cooperation with China," Firouzkalaei said.
The expert identified several distinct areas of development in Sino-Russian relations after the US, EU and a handful of their allies imposed sanctions against some Russian companies following Crimea's decision in March 2014 to join the Russian Federation in the aftermath of the Maidan coup d'etat.
Russia, one of China's biggest energy suppliers is set to increase its supply with the Power of Siberia gas transportation project.
Russia's Gazprom and the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) have agreed on the construction of two pipelines, which will transport gas from Yakutia and Irkutsk gas production centers to Russia's Far East and on to China. The "Western" and "Eastern" pipelines will transport 30 and 38 billion cubic meters of gas per year respectively to China. "Contracts for the export of Russian natural gas to China are already being executed. At the same time, several different routes for the transportation of Russian gas to China will compensate the Chinese for a possible shortage of gas, and also increase the ecological safety of the contracts," Firouzkalaei said.
In October 2014 Russia's central bank and the People's Bank of China made an agreement to enable bilateral currency swap deals in the Russian ruble and Chinese yuan, in order to stimulate bilateral trade and direct investment between the two countries. The three-year deal is worth 815 billion rubles ($13 billion), and 150 billion yuan ($22.2 billion).
Russia and China have also increased their defense cooperation, as they share joint concerns over the activities of the US in the Far East and Europe, where Washington is intent on installing anti-missile defense shields and giving itself an "umbrella" of rocket sites.
As recently as last month the two countries carried out joint naval exercises in the South China Sea, and Firouzkalaei foresees further bilateral cooperation in the military-industrial sphere. "The foundation is there for Russia and China to enter into closer and longer-term cooperation, including manned spaceflight, which would be really beneficial and efficient for both parties. Such cooperation may be used in the framework of military-technical cooperation between the two countries."
The analyst believes that the US has in fact committed an own goal by sanctioning Russia, which has led to Moscow turning East and forming a partnership with China that threatens the global hegemony of Washington.
"The cooperation of Russia and China now, in the period of the Ukraine crisis, is much larger than ever before and Western sanctions against Russia have only enabled that increase." "The strengthening of cooperation between Russia, China and independent partner countries forms the essential basis of a new alliance in opposition to the US," Firouzkalaei concluded.