Robert E. Hamilton
A debate over the nature of the China-Russia relationship has raged for almost two decades. One side believes the two are strategic partners; the other believes their ties are an “axis of convenience” lacking depth.
Understanding the true nature of their relationship is of vital importance to U.S. national security. A true strategic partnership represents a grave threat; less robust ties between the two give the U.S. more latitude in dealing with them.
We can gain a deeper, more nuanced understanding of China-Russia ties by observing how they interact in regions of the world where they both have important interests at stake. Four regions emerge as key here: Central Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and East Asia.