Growing Russia-China Bonhomie
A new alliance in the making?
Russia’s policy towards China has been one of adaptation and accommodation. Despite increasing asymmetry in power between the two states, Moscow and Beijing have reinforced cooperation and managed to overcome a number of challenges. These included Russia’s policy towards Ukraine, Moscow and Beijing’s competing regional projects in Eurasia and China’s growing activity in the Arctic. China and Russia coordinated their efforts in a number of domains, primarily in the global realm. Recently, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army joined Russia and six other nations for Tsentr 2019, a massive, five-day military exercise involving over 100,000 troops. Just last year, Russia and China joined in the Vostok military exercise with over 300,000 troops in Siberia training jointly near the Chinese border. These exercises are the clearest evidence, to date, of how Russian-Chinese relations have grown increasingly close since the Sino-Soviet split in 1961, when Moscow and Beijing were competing for control of the communist world. Having significantly expanded their economic, military and diplomatic ties, both countries see value in an alliance against their common enemy — the United States. Moreover, pressure they have been putting on the West increased each state’s room for manoeuvre in international politics.
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