Businesses from China and Russia are contemplating signing close to 73 projects, with investments totaling over US$100 billion. While this might seem like a regular trade activity, China has deeper intentions to diminish U.S. global power by courting communist-counterpart, Russia.
The Russia-China economic alliance
The joint projects will be overseen by the Russian-Chinese Business Advisory Committee, which is composed of representatives from some of the major companies of these countries. Projects worth US$4.6 billion are already underway, and more projects will be launched in the coming months.
“While strong economic growth in both countries will certainly produce many domestic opportunities for profitable investments, we believe particularly promising transactions will be found in bilateral deals that capitalize on the Russia-China relationship,” CNBC quotes a statement from Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian sovereign wealth fund, which is a member of the advisory committee.
Both countries also announced a separate tech fund. A US$100 million Sino-Russian tech innovation park is also under consideration. In addition, a joint venture fund worth US$100 million has also been set up to encourage up-and-coming businesses from both nations.
Threat for the U.S.
China has been increasingly courting Russia over the past years in order to build a deeper bond so as to eventually challenge U.S. global influence. The fact that both countries are ruled by a communist ideology that has a deep-rooted hatred for the free markets and democracy espoused by the U.S. is also something that worries America. The U.S.-China trade war seems to have made Beijing more desperate about developing closer ties with its neighbor.
“China is feeling the heat, so by strengthening relations with Russia, stressing comradeship between Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, the growing economic and military tie — this is a way to send a message to the United States that China does have options and Russia is a powerful option that can provide energy resources as well. It’s also, importantly, an ideological partner that appreciates authoritarianism,” ABC quotes Stephen Nagy, Senior Associate at Tokyo’s International Christian University.
Both the countries are also known to be involved in espionage and cyber-attacks against the U.S. Just last year, hackers from Russia had compromised sensitive information of about a dozen American energy companies. Chinese cyber-terrorist group APT10 has been constantly attacking U.S. businesses involved in engineering, aerospace, and telecom in a bid to steal valuable technological information.
“Foreign economic and industrial espionage against the United States continues to represent a significant threat to America’s prosperity, security, and competitive advantage. China, Russia, and Iran stand out as three of the most capable and active cyber actors tied to economic espionage and the potential theft of U.S. trade secrets and proprietary information,” Business Insider quotes a report by the U.S. National Counterintelligence and Security Center.
Taking into account China’s relentless attack on American intellectual property, knowledge, and security, the Trump administration has restricted the involvement of Chinese-origin people in American tech industries by limiting the Visas granted to them.
President Trump is also coming down hard against the acquisition of U.S. companies by Chinese-owned businesses after intelligence reports suggested that the communist government was behind many of the companies expressing interest in taking over American businesses. With Russia and China deepening their economic and military ties, the U.S. has no option but to improve its security measures and come up with a long-term plan to safeguard its global dominance.