Faced with a newly aggressive Russia, NATO leaders on Wednesday outlined a muscular new vision that names Moscow as the military alliance’s primary adversary but also, for the first time, declares China to be a strategic “challenge.” It was a fundamental shift for an alliance that was born in the Cold War but came to view a post-Soviet Russia as a potential ally, and did not focus on China at all. China offered a chilly response to the new NATO moves. “The deepening strategic partnership between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation and their mutually reinforcing attempts to undercut the rules-based international order run counter to our values and interests,” NATO leaders said in a new mission statement issued during their summit in Madrid.
The United States has accused several companies and research institutes in China of supporting Russia’s military after the Ukraine invasion began, in one of the first concrete signs of Chinese entities allegedly helping Russia against Washington’s wishes. The Commerce Department said it was adding five of the companies to a trade blacklist known as the Entity List as punishment. It also accused two Chinese research institutes already on the blacklist since 2018 of supporting Russia’s military in recent weeks. Entities added to the list are effectively blocked from buying U.S. technology.
A pro-Chinese government group has impersonated environmental campaigners on social media platforms in an effort to undermine rare earths producers in the US and Canada, according to a cyber security consultancy. Mandiant said the group behind the attacks, known as Dragonbridge, had used fake Facebook and Twitter accounts to claim a US government-funded rare earths refinery in Texas being built by Australian group Lynas Rare Earths would “expose the area to irreversible environmental damage” and “radioactive contamination”. Mandiant described Dragonbridge as a “pro-People’s Republic of China (PRC) network” but did not identify it in more detail. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute think-tank corroborated Mandiant’s report to the Financial Times.
China’s plan to establish a yuan pooling scheme with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), plus Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Chile could pave the way for the currency to play an anchoring role in the Asia-Pacific region, analysts said. The plan comes amid heightened worry in Beijing about US dollar hegemony and as global investors search for safe harbours while the US embarks on monetary normalisation to tame high inflation.
India’s biggest cement producer, UltraTech Cement(ULTC.NS), is importing a cargo of Russian coal and paying using Chinese yuan, according to an Indian customs document reviewed by Reuters, a rare payment method that traders say could become more common. UltraTech is bringing in 157,000 tonnes of coal from Russian producer SUEK that loaded on the bulk carrier MV Mangas from the Russian Far East port of Vanino, the document showed. It cites an invoice dated June 5 that values the cargo at 172,652,900 yuan ($25.81 million). Two trade sources familiar with the matter said the cargo’s sale was arranged by SUEK’s Dubai-based unit, adding that other companies have also placed orders for Russian coal using yuan payments.
Iran, which holds the world’s second largest gas reserves, has applied to join the BRICS group of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa that Beijing and Moscow cast as a powerful emerging market alternative to the West.
China has called for NATO members to drop their “Cold War mentality” after the intergovernmental military alliance declared Beijing was a “challenge” to its interests and security. “NATO should stop drawing ideological lines, stoking political confrontation, or seeking to start a new Cold War,” Mr Zhao said.
CCP Foreign Influence