Though the Sino-Russian partnership is growing by the day and will continue to develop, it ultimately benefits China at the expense of Russia. But creating a strategic alliance between the two countries could challenge the current world order.
The Limits of the Alliance Between China and Russia
China’s President Xi Jinping recently visited Russia to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), a Russian economic forum that hosts various important global economic players, to discuss “the key economic issues facing Russia, emerging markets and the world as a whole.” He was also there to celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the two countries’ bilateral ties by holding talks with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Although it was Xi’s first trip to Russia in 2019, the visit to Russia came at a time of tensions between China and the United States on multiple fronts. These include tensions over trade, technology, and freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait. And, due to its tensions with Russia on some regional and strategic stability issues, the current U.S. administration has called both China and Russia “revisionist powers” that seek to challenge the preponderance of the United States. This comes at a time when China and Russia are closer to each other “than any time in the history of their relationship.” Although it is not the determinant factor, the current U.S. posture towards both China and Russia could contribute to their rapidly growing partnership.