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Rethinking Russo-Chinese Relations in Asia: Beyond Russia’s Chinese Dilemma


Despite both the Russian and Chinese governments proclaiming to have identical interests, the reality is quite different. On global issues like intervention in third world countries, non-proliferation, democracy promotion and Central Asia, Russia and China jointly act to resist US notions of a liberal world order dominated by American power. However, in regard to the regional security agenda in Asia, we find only barely concealed and even potentially serious if unadvertised rivalries (e.g., over Japan and Southeast Asia). Thus Russia is trying to juggle two contradictory things simultaneously: bandwagon with China on the global and anti-America agenda and attempt to pull off a balancing act to constrain China at the regional level. The deep-seated regional divergences in Asia between Moscow and Beijing have not been resolved and may not be capable of resolution given the dynamic forces at play in the region.