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Sun. June 16, 2024
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China and Russia on Mutual Leverages
Comments (2)

By Ipshita Bhattacharya

The purpose-built coupling of China and Russia currently consists of a complex mathematical algorithm which is easy to understand for them but difficult to solve for the rest of the world. Conversely this is clear to the international community that this strategic alliance is mainly built for concern towards the growing presence of the USA in Asia and her defence alliance network there. The Russia-China strategic partnership is aimed to counter the USA in the international realm. China and Russia both have expansionist goals keep strategic pauses on each other’s territorial violations, bestowing extreme promotion to the conditions that built this relationship.

The Ukrainian crisis has made Russia desolated, and the Western sanctions has further impelled it to pivot to Asia;  hence Moscow turning its strategic axis towards East Asia, where as China, with a robust economy and burgeoning military power, is in a state of laying strategic conditions before any alliance. Russia and China share a political school of rule that is authoritarian in nature and perhaps that is the significant guiding principle behind their phylogenetic relation. These commonalities perhaps holds count for territorial aggressions like China in South China Sea (SCS), and for Russia it is Ukraine, and now the momentum has impaled in the Arctic as well.

Initially, it was believed that these two countries had internal strife and a point of discord in Central Asian politics, where China’s economical and political endeavours was a concern for Russia as where the later was a strategic competitor. But the hypothesis changed by the joint declaration of cooperation in development in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and China’s Silk Road ambition, finally Russian disinclination for sharing the common economic vantage. However, the coordination is inclined more towards China but it was a good buy for Russia to recalibrate to Asia. China will of course be the major driver in the economy of Central Asia leaving the Kremlin to provide for the security cooperation option. The concern is China’s propulsive conditions that  a world power like Russia is accepting and abiding to grapple a foothold in East Asia where as China is cruising through Eurasia to become the power house there. 

The Arctic the new geopolitical theatre for strategic challenges and home of unprecedented opportunities, and Russia is vehemently imbuing across into the undiscovered snow land. Knowing the potential of this land, Russia is emphatically contriving to engulf the region. For Russia, the Arctic has always been a place of strategic importance. In the initial days Russia loathed Chinese involvement in the Arctic region and presented a very strict and cautious stance on China’s observer status in the Arctic Council, but due to the current geopolitical, economic and security status of Russia perhaps Chinese involvement has been consented. China’s massive energy demand at home and scouring expedition policies to meet these demands have perhaps brought China into the Arctic realm. It can be convincingly deduced that the Western sanctions buy China the Arctic opening. The region’s massive natural oil and gas resources and the strategic partnership of China and Russia in the Arctic now is a potent combination, although Russia wants to keep a legal limit in check on the energy sector. Subsequently, since the Russian call for Chinese investors, technology and support, China distinctly is the stronger partner and thus can dictate the terms and conditions. China is already investing millions of dollars in Arctic research and developing infrastructure there to remain globally competitive. 

The latest and most recent Chinese naval reach in the Pacific confirms the Chinese ambition of reaching far off to showcase its military might and to search for energy destinations of oil and gas fields. Earlier this year China and Russia conducted joint naval military drills in the Mediterranean Sea as well. This strategic location is the locus point of 70% of the world’s energy resources, which is unquestionably a big vantage point for China and also this is the westernmost point of China’s Silk Road, that will also colligate China into the Middle East, Europe, and Central Asia. Moreover this kind of economic partnership will draw the required momentum amidst the two.  Additionally, naval drills between Russia and China substantiates the pooling of these two powers against US basing in Asia. Russia has significantly aligned with China in military matters such as joint naval drills, precision strikes, and technology transfer, etc. to shore up the military might of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). It is noteworthy here however that Russia and China are both satisfied with the mutual leverages, energy and military benefits, creating an atmosphere of dubious signals in their respective regions. This strategic alliance has reached to the Pacific to counter balance the US pivot towards Asia, but leaving their unresolved issues in their own backyards. 

Ipshita Bhattacharya is a PhD scholar (history). Her research focuses on the critical analysis of India's Defence Policies with US and China in trilateral comparative fashion. The work is a contextual analysis of mainly Defence relations with US and China since post independence of India (1947).

Comments in Chronological order (2 total comments)

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Fri, October 16, 2015 03:29 AM (about 75989 hours ago)
we would be interested in re-posting your great text and other works, pls contact us under abc_anis@moderndiplomacy.eu
Sun, November 08, 2015 12:22 AM (about 75440 hours ago)
Good work Ip****a...me too working on Russia and China relations...interesting indeed. Alyona Moscow
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