China and Russia have forged a strategic partnership. Here are the 6 pillars:
1. Energy: China and Russia have concluded a whole series of deals this year making Russia China's key supplier of gas and oil.
2. Business and Trade: China and Russia intend to boost their mutual trade from $90 billion a year now to $200 billion by 2020. It is likely this target will be exceeded whilst China is set to become a major investor in the Russian economy.
3. High Technology and Industry Cooperation: China and Russia are currently cooperating in a huge range of fields from aircraft development to the sharing of satellite data.
4. Finance: China and Russia are partners in the new BRICS Bank. They intend to replace the US dollar in their mutual trade settlements. They are also working together on card payment systems and on rivals to the SWIFT system for interbank payments.
5. Military: China and Russia are engaging in military exercises of increasing scale and frequency. Their respective General Staffs closely coordinate with each other. Russia has resumed arms and technology sales to China.
6. Political and Diplomatic: China and Russia are joint founder members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. They actively coordinate their foreign policy positions with each other. They also work closely together and support each other in the UN Security Council.
Over the next few weeks we shall explore each of these areas in turn.
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