Russia’s Rebalance?

Fu Ying (“How China Sees Russia,” January/February 2016) argues that in the triangular relationship among China, Russia, and the United States, the points representing Moscow and Washington are farthest apart. This is certainly true in eastern Europe and, to a lesser extent, the Middle East. Yet in the Asia-Pacific, Russia and the United States have few outstanding differences and a long history of collaboration against third-party threats.

Russia and the United States both face challenges from an increasingly powerful and nationalist Chinese state. As Washington’s main geopolitical competitor for primacy in the Asia-Pacific, China poses a clear challenge to the United States. For Russia, the challenge is more subtle: China’s deepening economic hold on Russia’s eastern territories could lead to Moscow’s long-term irrelevance in Asia.

Chinese-Russian business deals in energy, mining, finance, power generation, and cross-border transportation, struck mostly in the wake of the Western sanctions…

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