Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced that Beijing is willing to help Moscow during its dark economic times. Reuters reports:
Wang, speaking to reporters over the weekend, said that Russia also had the “wisdom” to get out of difficulties, the official China Daily reported.“If the Russian side needs, we will provide necessary assistance within our capacity,” he said, noting that the two countries had consistently helped each other.He did not elaborate.
This announcement of a general willingness to help is hardly a simple act of kindness. With the plummeting ruble eating away at Russia’s purchasing power, China may be aiming to protect its very significant investment in trade with Moscow. If you had just gotten extremely favorable terms in a gas deal that you had been working on for 10-plus years, you might also want to make sure your partner could keep up his end of the bargain.But whatever sort of “help” China gives, if any, it won’t come cheap. Though Beijing has an interest in keeping Russia afloat, it knows just how weak Putin is right now—and will be looking to make the most of its advantage.