China and Russia wrapped up a bumper year of cooperation with an annual year-end meeting in which the two vowed to deepen ties across a range of issues as record trade between them surged past a symbolic target.
Bilateral trade between China and Russia surpassed $200 billion in the first 11 months of the year, Chinese leader Xi Jinping said at a sitdown with Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Wednesday – marking the achievement ahead of schedule of a goal set by Xi and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in 2019.
Then, the two leaders pledged to reach the $200 billion mark by 2024. Trade between their countries has continued to expand in the wake of the Kremlin’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, growing roughly 30% in 2022 to reach a record $190 billion.
China, the world’s second largest economy, emerged as a key economic lifeline for Russia after the United States and its allies cut trade and imposed sanctions following Moscow’s invasion of its neighbor.