Good relations between China and Russia are the most important international factor to maintain world peace and geopolitical stability in the face of proven US aggression and adventurism – as shown in its invasion of Iraq, catastrophic intervention in Libya and other disasters. The reasons for this are analysed on this website in ‘Good China-Russia Relations are the Guarantee of World Peace‘ and ‘The New Shape of World Politics – Disorder in the West, Stability in the East.‘
The two countries strengths complement each other. China is the world’s most rapidly growing major economy but still does not match US military power, Russia is strong militarily and is still the only country in the world with the capacity to totally destroy the US in a nuclear exchange. The two countries therefore protect each other, giving both the chance to undertake peaceful development. As the same time their combined strength is a deterrent to US adventurism and aggression in some other parts of the world. They have frequently voted in the same way at the UN.
These realities have created frequent contact and good relations between the highest levels of government in the two countries, good relations between their militaries, and other key geopolitical features. But until recently a weak point was economic cooperation. Both countries are now working to correct this. In 2018 China became Russia’s number one trading partner. Trade turnover between the two countries reached $108.3, 16% of Russia’s total trade, showing a growth of 24.5% compared to the previous year. Exports of Russian goods increased by 44%. In contrast trade between Russia and its second largest trading partner, Germany, was $59.6 billion. Completion of the Power of Siberia pipeline, to supply Russian natural gas to China, which is under construction, will dramatically further increase trade.
Another key development is the construction of a new rail and road bridge across the Amur river to connect the two countries. As described in this article from RT below the bridge is likely to carry more than three million tons of cargo, and almost 1.5 million, people a year. The construction of the bridge is therefore both a major practical link between the two countries and a clear symbol of their increasingly good relations.
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Building bridges: Last steel beam linking Russia-China railway bridge connected
The first cross-border railway bridge between China and Russia over the Amur River has been connected from both sides. The bridge, which will be operational this year, is expected to take bilateral trade to new highs.
The 2,209-meter-long (1.4 miles) structure links Russia’s Far East with China’s northernmost Heilongjiang province. The full completion of the cross-border bridge (railway and highway parts) is scheduled for July.
“On the morning of March 20, the last steel beam was built in, with Russia completing construction works from its part. This means the first railway bridge between the two countries is generally successfully connected,” Heilongjiang province’s administration said in a statement.
The completion of the bridge will end the history when the Chinese and Russian borders did not have a cross-river railway bridge, said Li Huachao, a chief engineer of China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Group.
According to him, the project aims to develop an international corridor connecting China’s northeastern railway networks with Russia’s Siberian railway networks.
“The shipping capacities between the two sides will be greatly enhanced as they will no longer be affected by seasonal weather conditions, which often have an impact on river shipping,” said Li, as cited by Ecns.cn.
According to Song Kui, a researcher of the Heilongjiang Provincial Academy of Social Sciences, the bridge will play a significant part in promoting trade globally and in northeast Asia.
Song said that in 2018 trade between Heilongjiang province and Russia amounted to 122 billion yuan ($18.2 billion). The figure represents 69.8 percent of the province’s total export and import value and 17.3 percent of China’s exports and imports to Russia.
Construction of the cross-border bridge officially started in 2016, following 28 years of negotiations between the two countries. Russia plans to export iron ore, coal, mineral fertilizers, lumber, and other goods via the link to China.
The highway section of the bridge will be ready for traffic this year. Traffic capacity is expected to exceed three million tons of cargo and be used by 1.48 million people a year by 2020. It will greatly facilitate trade between the two countries, since the route will be roughly 3,500km (2,175 miles) shorter.
How will difference in railway track gauges be dealt with?
China has multi track trains.
But also, they could slowly update the Russian system to be compatible with China.