The Possible Limits of China-Russia Cooperation, by Lawrence A. Franklin

Despite the much ballyhooed Belt and Road Initiatives and other joint China-Russia efforts, don’t think the China-Russia relationship is going to be all sweetness and light. It never has been. From Lawrence A. Franklin at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • China even recently claimed that Vladivostok, the most prominent city in Russia’s Far East, is historically Chinese territory.
  • China seems to see Russia less as an economic partner than as a source for extraction of energy and raw materials.
  • While disapproving Russia’s assaults on sovereign states, China seems to have no problem asserting its own will in and around other states, for instance, in the South and East China Seas, India, and the Galapagos Islands.
  • China is already successfully challenging Russia for influence among the post-Soviet states in Central Asia, particularly in Tajikistan.
  • Mainly, this bilateral condominium might be doomed to collapse because there is no trust in the relationship.
China and Russia’s coordinated policies in foreign affairs and economic endeavors belie deep-seated fissures that might well prevent their current period of cooperation from evolving into a sustained alliance. Pictured: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping on April 26, 2019 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Kenzaburo Fukuhara – Pool/Getty Images)

China and Russia’s coordinated policies in foreign affairs and economic endeavors belie deep-seated fissures that might well prevent their current period of cooperation from evolving into a sustained alliance.

Despite China’s planned participation in Russia’s annual Caucus 2020 exercises on September 21-26, Sino-Russian history is so replete with war, unequal treaties and racism, there seems little probability that their present military cooperation will succeed in developing into a military alliance.

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