China and Russia have been in a honeymoon of sorts since last year, when the two countries signed deals on natural gas and currency exchange, and when they conducted a joint military exercise in the East China Sea. Senior leaders from the two sides will continue to meet often this year but it remains to be seen whether the personal friendship between Putin and President Xi Jinping of China will elevate the two countries’ bilateral relationship to the level of strategic partners.
The crisis over Russian intervention in Ukraine and subsequent economic sanctions on Moscow have deepened and broadened Sino-Russian cooperation in the areas of international politics, economy, defense, energy, investment, culture and technology. The value of bilateral trade has reached US$100 billion and is expected to top US$200 billion in five years. Continue reading
The seeds were sewn when the Obama administration decided to overthrow the Mubarak regime and replace it with the Muslim Brotherhood, which subsequently failed as his military reinstated the previous government.
Egyptian army chief and probable next president, Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, landed in Moscow Wednesday and is expected to sign up with Russia for a $2 million arms deal in another move that could diminish American influence over Cairo as well as the entire Middle East.
The United States pooh-poohed the idea that it was losing its clout in Cairo, but Russia now is set to take advantage of Saudi financial aid to Egypt and boost its defense sales and to further erode the Obama administration’s position. Continue reading