In early June, China and Russia signed a joint statement on the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between the two countries in the new era, stating that they must shoulder greater responsibility for the world. Chinese leader Xi Jinping held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, calling him “the best friend.” On July 23, the Sino-Russian strategic bomber united in the air strategy cruise in Northeast Asia, which triggered the vigilance of the two Asian and American allies, Japan and South Korea.
The “unprecedented” new development of the Sino-Russian bomber joint cruise is widely believed to be a Sino-Russian attempt to challenge the influence of the United States in the region and break the strategic pattern of Northeast Asia formed after World War II and the Cold War.
Putin and Xi Jinping have met more than 30 times since 2013. The editorial of the New York Times on July 21st believes that as Russia and China move closer together, further formation of a more fixed alliance may create a strategic challenge to the United States.
Professor John L’Aquila, a military strategist at the US Naval Academy, said in a report with Defense Ministry officials and other analysts, “If Moscow and Beijing further form an alliance, it will subvert the world system and the impact of the United States on the world. .”
According to the New York Times, the recent White Paper from the Pentagon has described the increase in Russia’s threat as Putin’s way of treating others with his own (American), imitating the US President Nixon in the 1970s and playing “China” on the United States.
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Putin expressed his gratitude to Xi Jinping during his meeting in Moscow in June, because Chinese leaders promoted Sino-Russian trade, which increased the trade volume between the two countries by 25% in 2018 compared with the previous year, exceeding 100 billion US dollars. The leaders of the two countries signed more than 20 agreements.
Many analysts believe that since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 to induce Western sanctions, China and Russia began to find more and more common ground in order to counter the Western-style democratic model and try to find a substitute for the American dominance pattern formed after the war.
Putin expressed confidence in relations with China in his State of the Union speech in February. He said that Russia-China relations will promote Russia’s security and prosperity, especially Russia’s “Eurasian Economic Union” and China’s “One Belt, One Road” plan. The interests overlap.
China and Russia have conducted joint military exercises for more than a decade. In 2012, China and Russia held joint naval exercises in the Mediterranean. Last year, Russia carried out the largest military exercise since the Cold War, and the Chinese army also participated.
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The New York Times reported that Russia also recently agreed to sell its cutting-edge military technology to China, including the S400 surface-to-air missile and the Su-35 fighter. But in turn, the main components of many of Russia’s advanced weapons are also from China.
In addition, “Australian” reported that China also supplies Russia with major networks and security equipment, giving Putin more control over networks and public opinion. Last month, Russia reached an agreement with Chinese telecommunications company Huawei to establish a 5G network in Russia. Russia joined China’s “splinternet” and got rid of the Internet that relies on American companies.
The Australian media also reported that in the early days of the Soviet Union’s disintegration in the 1990s, Russia seemed to be joining the Western camp, which made China very worried. In dealing with the so-called “color revolution”, Russia has become a partner of China to jointly fight against the universal values of human rights and democracy in the West.
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The “Australian” commentary said that China is the master of Sino-Russian relations. China’s economy is six times that of Russia, and it is still increasing. Russia continues to decline, so Russia is evolving into a Chinese vassal.
On the economic front, Russia is deepening its dependence on China, a huge neighbor. The Russian national Russian oil company (Rosneft) relies on Chinese funds, and more and more oil exports are turning to the Chinese market. As Russia seeks to reduce the impact of dollar hegemony, the renminbi’s share of Russian foreign exchange reserves is growing. Last year, Russia’s foreign exchange reserves halved to 23%, while the yuan’s share increased by 3% to 14%.
Former Portuguese Minister of European Affairs, Harvard University Dr. Bruno Maçães wrote an article in the American online politics magazine POLITICO to analyze the obstacles in the Russian and Chinese alliances. He believes that state capitalism between China and Russia is very different. The rent-seeking and privileged nature of Putin’s Russian state capitalism are not conducive to economic development, which is why Chinese investment into Russia is very limited.
He also believes that the overlap between China and Russia in Central Asia will also create tension. The stability of Central Asia is very important for China’s internal security. China hopes that the Central Asian Islamic extremism will be contained. Bruno said that China sent troops to conduct exercises in Tajikistan without notifying Russia.
The New York Times also said that China and Russia also compete with each other in East Asia and the Arctic Ocean.
Bruno also said that a fading and angry Russia will become very dangerous, because Russia may take risks in order to prove that it is still a power, such as threatening other countries, strengthening its alert against China, and worrying that Siberia will be under pressure from China.
Despite many analyses of the decline of Russia, Russia is still a nuclear power and a permanent member of the Security Council. Russia still has a modern army and is not afraid of using force, such as deploying Russian troops in Syria.
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In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Sino-Soviet relations began to split. Later, US President Nixon visited China in 1972, wooed China to deal with the Soviet Union, formed the so-called “Great Triangle” strategic pattern of China, the United States and the Soviet Union, and the Soviet Union struggled to cope. Later, it fell into the Afghan war and began to understand the prelude of the body. Now, China and Russia are closer to each other under the leadership of Xi Jinping and Putin. The new “Great Triangle” relationship between China, the United States and Russia is on the horizon.