Assessments

For China and Russia, Common Interests Make for Closer Security Ties

Sep 11, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
Military officials salute each other in a ceremony before Russia and China warships set out for a naval cooperation exercise.

Military officials salute each other in a send-off for a joint Russian-Chinese naval exercise in the Sea of Japan and the Sea of Okhotsk.

(YURI SMITYUK\TASS via Getty Images)

As the saying goes, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." And indeed, that dynamic seems to be the rationale that has brought Russia and China closer together amid their respective standoffs with the United States in recent years. The U.S. trade war with China and Washington's prolonged sanctions campaign against Moscow, for one, have driven greater economic and energy ties between the two countries. Russia and China have also coordinated their diplomatic positions to counterbalance U.S. interests and influence in areas such as Venezuela, Iran and North Korea. As a result, Beijing and Moscow have increasingly found themselves aligned with each other in the growing number of areas where they both stand at odds with Washington -- and increasingly, that includes security issues. But in the long term, Russian-Chinese security ties will ultimately depend on the evolution of each country's relationship with the United States and, thereby, with each other....

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