The war in Ukraine has cut Russia off from much of the Western world. Barraged by sanctions, denounced in international media, and ostracized from global cultural events, Russians are feeling increasingly alone. But the Kremlin can rely on at least one major pillar of support: China. That asymmetry is destined to become only more pronounced in the coming years as Putin’s regime depends on Beijing for its survival. China will likely gobble up more of Russia’s overall trade. It will become an essential market for Russian exports (notably natural resources) while Russian consumers will increasingly rely on Chinese goods. And it will take advantage of Russia’s predicament to assert the renminbi as both a dominant regional and major international currency.
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