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China and Russia rally in response to Trump

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12.06.2019

By Andrew Hammond

China's Xi Jinping finished up a three-day trip to Russia, Friday, which saw 30 government and commercial agreements inked, including linking up Beijing's "Belt and Road" project with the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).

The success of the visit reflected not just the warmth of the burgeoning bilateral dialogue, but perhaps just as important the current chilliness of both of their ties with the United States.

On China's side, for instance, relations with Washington have become increasingly frosty following the apparent breakdown of high-level trade talks last month. This follows the decision of both sides to ramp up sanctions after Donald Trump accused Beijing of "breaking the [potential] deal" by seeking to roll back what he claims were previous Chinese commitments in areas like state subsidies.

At the same time, the U.S.-Russia relationship remains semi-frozen too. At last month's meetings between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Putin and his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the mood music was subdued, albeit with both sides pledging to work with each other where possible.

It is in this context that both Beijing and Moscow wish to work together not just to further bilateral interests, but also hedge against the prospects of a continuing chill in U.S. ties under the Trump presidency. In Russia's case, however, it is not just the United States, but also other........

© The Korea Times