'Direct threat': Russia and China's ties sending terrifying message to West

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Russia China

The two leaders discussed forging closer economic and military cooperation (Image: Getty)

Russia and China's deepening ties pose a "direct" and "existential" threat to Western democracies and their way of life.

The terrifying warning was issued by the UK's Defence Minister Grant Shapps in an interview on Sky News.

Last week President Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping held talks over two days in Beijing as they marked the 75th anniversary of official ties between the two countries.

The two leaders discussed forging closer economic and military cooperation, despite warnings from the West to Beijing to distance itself from Putin's war in Ukraine.

Grant Shapps

Grant Shapps is worried about the ever closer ties between China and Russia (Image: Getty)

Putin and Xi announced they would deepen their military ties through an expansion of joint army drills in an ominous sign for Nato states.

Mr Shapps said he was particularly concerned by China's willingness to deepen its military ties with Russia.

"These are two countries that do not believe in democracy," he said.

"They are trying to spread their system to the rest of the world, we must see and have our eyes wide open that this is a direct threat to our way of life."

He warned of the strengthening of the "axis of evil" between China, Russia, Iran and North Korea.

“If we cherish our freedom, cherish our democracy, then we have to be concerned that they’re linking together, and not just that – Russia with Iran and using Iranian Shahed drones and the link to North Korea, buying North Korean weapons.

"We have to understand we are in an existential battle about the way we run the world order and about democracy itself."

China has ben accused of exporting to Russia "dual-purpose" goods that can be used in the production of weapons.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies has put together data which reveals the sheer scale of Chinese "dual-purpose" items going to Russia since February 2022.

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Analysts identified products they labelled as "key military goods" - these include electrical equipment, machinery, and vehicles as well as materials such as iron, steel, plastic and rubber.

As Moscow prepared for Ukraine's counteroffensive back in the spring of 2023, there was a huge jump in exports of these products to Russia.

This spike also coincided with a visit by Xi to Moscow to hold talks with his close ally.

Although other countries such as India and some EU states also shipped "dual-purpose" goods to Russia, China is by the far largest exporter.

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