Will Putin exploit Trump’s Anti-China trade war?

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MOSCOW – RF, [FRN ] – Moscow will seize the opportunity of expanding economic cooperation with China arising from the trade war between Beijing and Washington, according to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov.

Recently, US President Donald Trump has threatened to introduce $150 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports. China has announced retaliatory measures. On May 3rd and 4th, representatives of the two countries engaged in trade talks – the first since the beginning of the conflict, prompted by tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum.

“In general, we are against trade wars and sanctions policy, but of course we will not lose the opportunities that are emerging,” said the deputy foreign minister of Russia, answering the question whether the economic conflict between Washington and Beijing could benefit Moscow.

In particular, Morgulov underlined the growth of Russian-Chinese bilateral trade in agriculture, although this was already on the rise before the economic disputes between the US and China.

“Now, conditions are being created for specialized cooperation to reach an even higher level,” he said.

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At the same time, the diplomat stressed that Moscow and Beijing are not creating and do not intend to create a union, since this type of strategy does not correspond to the way both countries view bilateral relations.

“China is strictly following the line of non-adherence to any blocs. Even so, it is true, on many occasions we have similar positions, being allies on global and regional issues,” he commented.

The deputy minister noted that it is normal for each country to have its economic interests, which do not always coincide, which leads to competition between economic agents of the two countries. However, he stressed, the important thing is not to avoid such competition, but to find ways to overcome the situation, stating that Russia “has already found the right solution”.

In recent years, China has actively promoted its “One Belt, One Road” initiative, but according to Morgulov, Moscow has found a way to not compete with the project but rather work along side it and through its own construction project of the Eurasian Economic Union.

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