Relations between America and Russia are growing increasingly sour — and increasingly sweet between Russia and China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, will have more than vodka shots and gifts of ice cream to show for their warming relationship when they meet this weekend on the sidelines of a developing nations’ summit in India.
Recent months have seen greater security cooperation between Russia and China as they find common ground against the U.S. The neighboring giants last month held their first joint naval drill in the South China Sea and both have condemned U.S. plans to deploy a U.S. missile shield in South Korea. A Russian general said this week the military was working with China to counter an expansion of U.S. missile defenses, which they see as upsetting the balance between the three nuclear powers.
“The fact that both countries started to talk about joint actions on the military level is a very serious development,” said Vasily Kashin, a senior fellow of Russian Academy of Science’s Far Eastern Studies Institute. “The threat from U.S. missile defense pushes both China and Russia closer to each other. For Russia and China, the policy of containment is the containment of the U.S. first of all.”
Russia and China, however, haven’t always been the best of friends. In fact they “share a long history of tensions, including a brief Cold War conflict on their 4,200 kilometer (2,600 mile) border. China, with its growing military might, long ago surpassed Russia economically and has been testing the limits of Moscow’s trust with expansions into former Soviet republics in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.”
In other words, Russia and China are not natural allies.