UPDATED 9:15 AM PT – Thursday, April 14, 2022
Mutual trade between Russia and China surged in March in response to Western sanctions. According to Chinese customs data, Russian-Chinese trade rose to an equivalent of $38.2 billion last month, which is a 28 percent increase from a year ago.
China’s imports from Russia rose by 31 percent and Chinese exports to Russia increased by 25.9 percent. This came after Moscow and Beijing unveiled a new payments system based off national currencies instead of the US dollar. China also reaffirmed its commitment to quote “rock solid” economic relations with Russia.
“As for the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on trade, our relevant departments have responded to it and we will keep on watching it,” stated Li Kuiwen, spokesman for the Chinese General Administration of Customs. “The customs will continue to serve China’s normal trade cooperation with Russia and Ukraine as well as other relevant countries.”
China also rejected threats of secondary US sanctions over its ties with Russia in defiance of multiple pleas by the Biden administration. Meanwhile, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is urging U.S. cooperation with China to prevent a Russian-Chinese economic alliance.
While speaking at the Atlantic Council on Wednesday, she said better ties between Russia and China may create a “bipolar system” in global finance. Her remarks came after Russia and China unveiled the new payments system based in national currencies and bypassing the US dollar.
Yellen also reiterated support for so-called green agenda in the US, despite its risks to US manufacturing. The US Treasury Secretary also threatened Beijing with “losing its standing in the world” if it continues to partner with Russia.