China profits from exchanging cars for Russian gas

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi highlighted the extensive prospects of trade cooperation between Russia and China, emphasizing that in 2023, the trade turnover surpassed a record $240 billion.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Pavel Bednyakov / RIA Novosti

During a news conference on the sidelines of the second session of the National People’s Congress of the 14th convocation, Wang Yi said that “Russian natural gas is supplied to thousands of households in China, and Chinese cars are driving on Russian streets, showcasing the robust sustainability and wide-ranging prospects for mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries.”

The minister characterized the development of relations between the nations as a strategic choice the two countries made, founded on the “fundamental interests of the peoples of the two states.” He further noted the deepening of bilateral mutual political trust and the growing enthusiasm for people-to-people exchanges.

The trade turnover between Russia and China experienced notable growth, reaching $190 billion by the end of 2022, marking a 29.3% increase. In 2023, this figure further surged by 26.3%, surpassing a record $240.1 billion. Notably, during January-February 2024, the trade turnover continued its upward trajectory, rising by 9.3% to $37.01 billion. A significant shift was observed in Russian imports from developed countries, with the share decreasing from 47% to 17% at the close of 2023. In contrast, China’s share increased from 27% to 45%.

“The exchange of products with high added value (such as cars) for low-value-added products (such as gas) is extremely profitable. For producers of goods with high added value, of course,” economist, associate professor at RANEPA Sergei Khestanov said.

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