A View from Russia on Sino-Russian Relations in 2023-24


Richard Weitz, Hudson Institute1

This year marks the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). This article first discusses recent Russian political, academic, and media views regarding China’s general role in the world and relationship with Russia. The article then focuses on specific functional and geographic areas, including Sino-Russian economic, security, and regional relations. The conclusion speculates on potential future developments. Russian authors and officials emphasize how their resilient partnership has surmounted major challenges in recent years. The Russian ambassador to China termed their partnership “unbreakable.”2 Though more circumspect, Russian analysts note how their ability to overcome challenges displays the durability and flexibility of their alignment.3 One reason for this robustness is that Russia’s political and academic leadership profess that Russia and China are natural partners to lead the worldwide anti-hegemony movement building a more just multipolar world order. Another explanation is that they eschew genuine consideration of the alternative strategies of either accepting formal subordination as China’s primary vassal or acknowledging that Moscow’s foreign policy failures require major course corrections. Instead, they still mostly adhere to the view that Russia can establish an enduring and mutually beneficial partnership with China that advances both countries’ interests in Asia and beyond.4

Sino-Russian Relations in Russian Eyes

Russian views of their Chinese partner have varied substantially over time. The last decade has seen a sharp improvement in elite and popular views of China. Whereas two-to-three decades ago one could frequently encounter negative assessments of the PRC in Russian statements and commentaries, some of which openly expressed fears of Chinese immigration or renewed PRC efforts to recover Chinese territory lost to Russia centuries ago, these negative appraisals have largely disappeared from official discourse. Instead, Russian leaders and commentators routinely depict China as Russia’s prime and preferred partner. They highlight Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s friendly personal ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin along with the harmony of ideology and national interests between Russia and China.5 One typical example comes from Kremlin insider Sergey Karaganov, who boasts that Moscow and Beijing will eventually end the West’s 500-year exploitation of the world.6

In his September 2023 address at the plenary session of the 8th Eastern Economic Forum, Putin highlighted the “remarkable” extent of official Sino-Russian interactions. According to the Russian president, the two governments strive to understand and respond to each other’s concerns on important questions at multiple levels—from heads of state and ministerial contacts to working-level engagement through lower-level bureaucratic entities. Putin recalled how the Chinese authorities, despite the resistance of domestic suppliers, opened the country’s coal mining sectors to Russian suppliers. He also insisted that, despite evidence to the contrary, Russian-Chinese high-technology cooperation was advancing well, citing high-profile agreements regarding nuclear power, outer space, and wide-body aircraft and heavy-lift helicopters.7 The following month, Putin told the Chinese media that their two governments routinely took the other side’s interests and opinions into account. As an example, Putin cited persistent Chinese efforts to address Russian concerns about perennial imbalances in their trade in manufactured goods.8 Russian exports to the PRC still consist overwhelmingly of raw materials, especially hydrocarbons, rather than higher-value products.

In his news conference of January 18, 2023, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reiterated the standard official refrain that Russian-Chinese relations were experiencing their “best” period ever. He argued that Sino-Russian ties were stronger than during the Cold War, when Moscow and Beijing had a formal military alliance with a mutual defense pledge, describing their current relationship as more pragmatic, trusting, and “mutually respectful” while still based on national interests. (The 2001 Sino-Russian Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation, renewed in 2021, provides for mutual consultations in a crisis but not mutual defense in case of war.9) Lavrov recommended that the audience read the February 4, 2022, “Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China on the International Relations Entering a New Era and the Global Sustainable Development,” which described a comprehensive collection of shared goals and projects. In terms of process, Lavrov stated that the bilateral relationship encompassed annual heads of government meetings supported by five intergovernmental commissions co-chaired by deputy prime ministers, a level of bureaucratic cooperation that Russia did not have with any other foreign government. In terms of substance, Lavrov boasted that Moscow and Beijing have sustained their solidarity in the face of Western schemes to divide and defeat them as well as of intense US pressure, applied directly and through US “enslavement” of Europeans and Asian in a “dual containment strategy” Russia and China to prevent what Lavrov described as an inevitable multipolar international system.10

Russian commentators echo this official portrayal of robust and mutually beneficial Sino-Russian ties successfully surmounting Western threats and other challenges. Alexey Maslov cited a number of reasons why he believes Sino-Russian relations have become so close—and would remain so as along as Putin and Xi stay in power. These binding factors include that the West denies both countries the degree of influence and respect that they warrant; the economies of both countries are complementary; the two nations pine for an alternative to the American-led world order; Moscow fully supports many of Beijing’s requests, initiatives, and positions; China wants a strong and friendly Russian partner to balance the United States; both countries respect the others’ interests and red lines; and Russia and China are fundamentally satisfied with the benefits they obtain from their relationship.11 Similarly, an April 27, 2023, article in MKRU asserts that the leaders of both countries, notwithstanding the illusions of pro-Western elites in both states, perceive their countries as natural strategic allies. While Putin sees China’s rise as helping propel Russia upward, especially in the economic realm, PRC leaders interpret their partnership as a component of the “China Dream.”12 Valery Kistanov maintains that Western policies drive Moscow and Beijing together by insisting that European and Asian security are indivisible and that Russia and China threaten both regions.13

Ivan Zuenko and Cui Heng argue that Russian and Chinese foreign policy share an intense commitment to anti-colonialism, including jointly opposing US imperialism.14 Like Lavrov, Viktor Pirozhenko claims that Western governments led by the United States are fanning fears about China to rally Asian nations to their side.15 Concurring with this assessment, Aleksander Lukin argues that ideological commitments prevent Americans from sharing regional leadership with China or other countries, compelling Beijing to oppose the United States.16 In another publication, Lukin states that PRC government officials see Washington’s strategy as aiming to create a NATO-like structure in Asia to contain China. In Lukin’s view, this US commitment to preserve its “unipolar moment” makes it impossible for the United States to move beyond limited temporary deals with Beijing and tolerate China’s legitimate efforts to increase its foreign influence and to reform, though not replace, the international order.17 Konstantin Sukhoverkhov sees the intellectual origins of the current strategy of seeking to divide Moscow and Beijing as deriving from former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s tactic of driving wedges between Russia and China. Unlike Kissinger’s success, Sukhoverkhov believes contemporary US geopolitical schemes have driven Moscow and Beijing together in shared opposition to Washington’s policies. In contrast to the earlier period, moreover, additional shared foreign-policy interests now reinforce the Sino-Russian alignment.18 Furthermore, China wants to keep Russia independent of Western influence so that Beijing does not have to confront Washington and its partners without Moscow’s help.19

Economics and Energy

The Russian and Chinese economies are essentially complementary. Russia possesses large quantities of natural resources, high-quality military equipment, and other products in high demand by PRC consumers. Meanwhile, China has an enormous market, excels at producing low-cost goods sought by Russian consumers, and dispenses substantial loans and investment to foreign partners. Russia’s geographic proximity to China—situated in a critical location between Asia and Europe—also enhances their economic partnership. The thousands of economic sanctions that Western governments have piled on Russia in recent years have especially accelerated Sino-Russian commerce. Both the share and the volume of Russia’s trade with China has soared since Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine started in February 2022, which further constrained Russian-Western economic ties. Two-way trade reached a record in 2023. According to Russian sources, the total amounted to $227.7 billion.20 Chinese customs data indicates the trade level exceeded $240 last year.21 The last two years have seen Russian purchases of high-tech, industrial, and machinery imports surge, especially if one includes PRC-made goods shipped through third countries. Some Independent experts estimate that between $15 billion and $25 billion in trade volume flows through Belarus, Central Asia, the Middle East, and other “cutouts.”22 Overall, approximately half of Russia’s imports now come from China, twice the figure before Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.23 PRC trade and investment intermediaries have also helped Russia circumvent sanctions by acquiring Western high-tech products and other controlled goods and transferring them, directly or through third countries, to Russian entities. Though Russia has been China’s leading national oil supplier for more than a decade, and presently receives approximately half of Russia’s oil and petroleum product exports, recent years have seen a rapid expansion in coal and natural gas deliveries to China, by pipeline and recently as liquid petroleum gas (LPG). Unlike many other purchasers of Russian energy, China’s large size and autonomous policies enable PRC entities to evade some Westerns sanctions, price caps, and currency restrictions.

Even so, the volume of China’s additional hydrocarbon imports has not fully compensated for the decreased Russian oil and gas sales to Europe. Furthermore, Russian analysts assess that overreliance on Chinese purchases of Russia’s energy exports could present problems due to the many alternative foreign hydrocarbon suppliers to China and Beijing’s plans to increase use of renewable energy sources.24 PRC negotiators have already declined or delayed some of Russia’s recent energy proposals, including the long-discussed but never finalized Power of Siberia 2 gas pipeline through Mongolia. PRC energy managers may seek to secure better commercial terms, avoid further dependence on Russian sources, or to limit exposure to possible secondary sanctions from interacting with Russian entities.25 Furthermore, Chinese buyers have taken advantage of distressed Russian oil and gas sales, receiving discounts due partly to the G7 price cap on Russian oil prices and to decreased European competition for Russian hydrocarbons. Additionally, Russians would like to see the Chinese buy more high-value products besides weapons from Russia. Their country’s economic profile regarding China resembles that of a colony. China buys mostly raw materials, especially hydrocarbons, from Russia while purchasing high-tech and industrial goods primarily from Western countries. Russian expectations of receiving massive PRC investment and loans have never panned out. Despite Russian aspirations for greater Chinese capital and technologies, PRC investors have been as reluctant as other non-Russian entrepreneurs to make big bets on the Russian market. Though PRC financial institutions have extended billions of dollars’ worth of credit to Russians, with many loans issued even after Russia launched its 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Chinese banks periodically cease making transactions with Russian businesses, probably also to avoid potential US sanctions.26

Russian analysts have identified many impediments to the further expansion of Sino-Russian trade and especially investment: Western sanctions, the volatility of prices for Russia’s commodity exports, lengthy geographic distances between Russian entities, the undeveloped state of Sino-Russian cross-border infrastructure, various administrative and legal barriers, and economic slowdowns in both countries.27 In an article for Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Sergey Tsyplakov wonders whether Russia’s not participating in the Beijing’s landmark Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) directly, but through the multilateral framework of the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), might also explain the absence of major BRI projects inside Russia.28 The diverging nature of the Russian and Chinese regional integration initiatives also complicates attempts to integrate them. The EEU is essentially a limited customs union, whereas the BRI has a more ambitious agenda. Conversely, the EEU requires that its members harmonize many policies and regulations, whereas the BRI is less formally demanding. At the October 2023 annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club, Putin denied that Moscow and Beijing had diverging interests regarding Eurasian economic integration or that the EEU and BRI were in competition. Instead, the president insisted that the two initiatives “harmoniously” complemented each other in many respects—such as by establishing new connecting transportation and logistics infrastructure through Central Asia and other regions. Among other considerations, Putin said that such collaboration allowed both Moscow and Beijing to parry Western sanctions and other threats.29 On October 18, Putin cited the construction of a transnational “north-south” trade and transportation corridor through both European Russia and western Siberian as an example that the EEU remained a viable concern.30 Some Russian commentators echo Putin in their enthusiasm for the EEU. For example, Vladimiri Kovalev sees the EEU, perhaps with expanded membership, as the potentially resilient nucleus of a more just order in greater Eurasia.31 Western countries have thus far proven unable to craft a formidable competitor to the BRI; the current Middle East conflicts have displaced the latest attempt, the planned India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor.

Despite past problems, Russian analysts and government planners still see a rosy future for Sino-Russian economic ties. Russian authors maintain that US policies will help Moscow achieve its goal of diluting Sino-Western economic ties. For instance, they contrast how, while providing extensive military technology to Taiwan, the United States strives to deny commercial technologies to China.32 Igor Denisov identifies constraining China’s imported technology as a fundamental pillar of the Buden administration’s multinational “semiconductor war” for containing China’s rise.33 Meanwhile, the Russian government has grandiose plans for expanding Russia’s economic partnership with China. According to leaked documents of Russian Security Council meetings in 2022 and 2023, Russian officials want to partner with China and other non-Western countries “to create a new world order” by weakening the role of the US dollar as an international reserve currency and other elements of the US-led Bretton Woods global financial system.34 The last few years have seen Russia and China conduct many more transactions using rubles and especially yuan, whose share of Russia’s foreign currency reserves has surged at the expense of Western currencies. In January 2024, Lavrov related that some 90 percent of Sino-Russian economic transactions now employed their national currencies.35 Among other benefits, using rubles and yuan obviate the use of Western financial instruments or institutions, which are more vulnerable to Western government sanctions. Yet, Chinese reliance on the Russian currency, which has helped sustain its value, has been limited due to the volatility of the ruble, fears of devaluing Chinese enormous dollar-denominated reserves, and a desire to shield PRC banks from potential exposure to Western sanctions on Russia’s financial sector. PRC reluctance to use the Russian ruble for settlements has resulted in most Sino-Russian national currency deals employing the Chinese yuan (renminbi). One of the leaked documents written by Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev last summer envisaged establishing novel payment and financial networks, using digital currencies and blockchain technologies, to circumvent Western institutions and sanctions. The document also foresaw enhanced collaboration between Russia and China on advanced cyber technologies such as artificial intelligence and the “internet of things.”36

Defense and Security

Russian-Chinese security cooperation has evinced remarkable growth during the past decade. The People Liberation Army’s purchases of Russian weapons and defense technologies have rebounded from prior downturns while Russian-Chinese military drills, personal exchanges, and other forms of cooperation have increased in frequency and expanded in scope to encompass new functional and geographic areas. In April 2023, shortly after his appointment as the China’s new minister of national defense, General Li Shangfu met with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Shoigu, in Moscow. Li affirmed that, by making Moscow the destination of his first official visit at China’s new defense minister, he was demonstrating to the world that Sino-Russian ties were stronger than ever.37 Furthermore, Li emphasized that the defense relations between the two countries would continue to build on existing agreements and make further progress.38 Immediately after replacing Li in December, the new PRC Defense Minister, Dong Jun, told Shoigu that their militaries should elevate their ties “to a higher level.” 39 Shoigu observed that, “Unlike some Western countries, our two countries do not form a military bloc.”40 Russian officials regularly state that their security partnership with China is actually superior to a traditional military alliance like NATO. Moscow’s ambassador to Beijing, Igor Morgulov, told the Chinese media at the end of November that their cooperation has “surpassed” such blocs, “enabling both countries to respond to various challenges in a more flexible and efficient manner.”41

Writing for the English-language PRC publication Global Times, Andrey Kortunov  said that Li’s visit highlighted what he described as unique features of the “new model” of security collaboration between Moscow and Beijing, which he argued could provide a foundation for fruitful cooperation between other countries, such as members of the Global South. In Kortunov’s view, these positive features include prioritization of sovereignty that excludes interference in internal affairs or participation in formal political-military alliances; tolerance for diverging national policies and interests on specific issues; cooperation that reflects a balance of interests between states rather than a balance of power, thereby levelling the multiple asymmetries between Russia and China; non-targeting of third-parties, making the alignment resilient against changes in the geopolitical environment; and security interaction within a diverse network of bilateral and multilateral structures, which makes other countries more comfortable with their cooperation. According to Kortunov, Moscow and Beijing can build on this foundation through expanded conceptual exchanges and the crafting of more detailed implementation roadmaps for initiatives to make “the global security system more manageable, predictable and inclusive,” such as by reforming the UN, resolving regional security tensions, and improving the management of global domains.42

Russian leaders and commentators deny that they expected China to provide lethal military assistance to the Russian armed forces fighting in Ukraine. According to Kortunov, “In the Kremlin they continuously argue that Russia does not need such assistance from China and has never asked for it.”43 Even so, Russian writers claim the United States nevertheless falsely claims that China gives Russia direct military support for the Ukraine war as a means to score propaganda points against Beijing.44 Aleksandra  Perminova analyzes how China views the Ukraine conflict within the framework of its new global security concept and its opposition to expanding exclusive regional security blocs.45 She and other Russian analysts believe that China understands that US and NATO actions, designed to advance Western security at the expense of Russia and other countries, have caused the conflicts in Ukraine.46 Russian authors note that China, even without rendering direct military assistance, greatly helps Moscow achieve its objectives in Ukraine simply by existing—without the persistent threat from a powerful China, the United States and its allies could devote more resources toward securing Russia’s defeat in Ukraine.47 Russian authors argue that Russians should be fully satisfied with China’s position on the Ukraine conflict since Beijing could hardly render direct military assistance given Western warnings of possible sanctions; meanwhile, China is providing invaluable support by substituting for Russia’s lost economic ties with the West and by compelling the Pentagon to divert resources to Asia.48 Russian analysts also defend the Chinese government’s twelve-point statement on the war issued on February 24, 2023, one year after the invasion. In their view, the document essentially aligns with Russia’s position on all issues except for some ambiguous wording defending Ukraine’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity,” reflecting Beijing’s understandable concerns about Taiwan.49

Asian Regional Issues

According to Sergey Strokhan, a recent irritant for China has been US linking of the Ukraine issue with the Taiwan question, despite what he sees as the false foundation of this analogy.50 In contrast to US ambiguity regarding Beijing’s claims to Taiwan, Putin reaffirmed Moscow’s commitment to Beijing’s interpretation of the one-China principle and opposition to “any dangerous provocation against China on the issue of Taiwan” after that island’s January 2024 presidential and legislative elections.51 Elsewhere, Moscow has generally eschewed participation in regional disputes involving China and Southeast Asian countries to avoid antagonizing the parties. Yet, Russia’s poor economic ties with ASEAN countries have impeded Moscow’s efforts to influence security developments in Southeast Asia, despite the advent of US-led security blocs in the Indo-Pacific region, such as the Quad and the AUKUS, which counter Russia’s interests.52 Other Russian experts have highlighted Moscow’s difficulties in South Asia due to the enduring tensions between Beijing and New Delhi.53 For years, Russian diplomats have proven unsuccessful in inducing the PRC to moderate their policies regarding India in order to present a more unified Russia-India-China (RIC) bloc against the United States and its allies.54

A.V. Torkunov and D.V. Strel’tsov maintain that Russia’s “Turn to the East” comprises three elements—promoting the socio-economic development of the Russian Far East, integrating Russia’s economy more into the Asia-Pacific region, and strengthening Russia’s bilateral or multilateral ties in the region. They assess that Russia has not achieved its objective of becoming a major economic actor in East Asia, leaving a gap between Moscow’s expectations and achievements. Furthermore, they believe that Russia’s Asia policy remains too focused on China. Among other drawbacks, this orientation undermines Moscow’s room to maneuver and its potential to mediate among Asian partners in dispute, such as between China and India or among states with overlapping claims in the South China Sea.55 Some Russian writers still advocate establishing a “Greater Eurasian Partnership,” in which a stronger Sino-Russian relationship would revitalize Russia’s influence throughout Asia. But even some of its architects, such as Karaganov, now focus more on promoting Russia’s internal development through better leveraging the natural and human riches of eastern Russia. Though Karaganov still advocates abandoning Russia’s pursuit of better ties with the West while building better connections with Asia countries and other members the Global South, he stresses more the importance of developing the Asian territory of Russia to achieve the “Siberization” of the entire country.56

Russian commentators perceive greater prospects for Sino-Russian cooperation in Central Asia. Though Russia and China generally sell Central Asians different goods—Russia mostly raw materials and food, China consumer and manufactured items—China has now become the main trading partner of all Central Asian counties and has surpassed Russian investors in providing new investment and loans.57 Andrey Denisov, the former Russian ambassador to China, insists that Beijing is a partner, not a competitor, of Moscow in the region. Though China’s economic influence in Central Asia is rising, the ambassador argues that Beijing still eschews political or security initiatives that challenge Russia in the region. Denisov believes Chinese policymakers recognize that Russia helps maintain the stability in Central Asia that benefits PRC investment there, including projects within the BRI framework. Conversely, he sees historical Russian-Central Asian connections as too strong to soon whither.58 Other Russian experts also highlight the extensive cultural, economic, geographic, historical, linguistic, political, and military ties sustaining Russia’s influence in Central Asia, though they acknowledge that some advantages will erode over time. For instance, they assess that the Ukraine War has adversely made Central Asians both doubt Moscow’s near-term capacity to defend them and fear that future Russian aggression will target them.59 In their view, China’s security profile in Central Asia will increase due to its growing economic role, the low cost of PRC weapons, Moscow’s preoccupation with the Ukraine war, and other factors; even so, Russian experts conclude that this presence will remain modest and not necessarily threaten Moscow’s interests.60 They also anticipate that China’s economic role in the South Caucasus will grow due to the Ukraine War’s weakening Russian-EU links, which “has objectively increased the importance of southern bypass transport corridors for China.”61

Russian authors worry that Russia’s and China’s “adversaries” will attempt to destabilize Central Asia to create security problems for them.62 Even as Central Asian governments depend on Moscow to balance Beijing, Russian authors also expect China to help Russia protect Central Asia governments from US efforts to compel regional governments to embrace American values and counter US-orchestrated subversion and youth-led colored revolutions.63 They therefore argue that Moscow must cooperate with Beijing to thwart rising Western influence in Central Asia rather than try to prevent the inevitable growth of China’s economic power in the region, since Beijing offers a superior partner for advancing Moscow’s goals in Central Asia.64 As long as Moscow and Beijing remain partners there, Russian analysts are confident that neither the United States nor any other alternative external actor can surpass Russian and Chinese influence in Central Asia, preserving their regional co-leadership.65 Nonetheless, these writers tends to overlook that, while Central Asians do not want excessive friction between Moscow and Beijing in their region, these nations also desire Western countries to remain engaged in their region to balance Russia and China, including Sino-Russian collusion at their expense.66

Multinatonal Organizations: Asia and Beyond

When presidents Putin and Xi exchanged New Year’s greetings in February, they expressed their intent to expand foreign-policy coordination within the SCO, the BRICS, and other multilateral structures.67 Russian analysts expect the SCO, a prominent Eurasian multinational organization, to augment Sino-Russian collaboration regarding Central Asia. Moscow and Beijing have jointly orchestrated the recent elevation of India, Pakistan, and Iran to full membership status in the organization, breaking a multi-year membership expansion deadlock, while helping other countries and institutions build ties with the SCO.68 However, some Russian analysts acknowledge that the internal tensions within the SCO dilute its utility for Moscow as an anti-Western institution. Though Iran fully supports this orientation, India, Central Asian governments, and even China generally favor focusing on resolving Eurasian economic problems rather than organizing a pollical-military bloc against the United States.

Perhaps for this reason, recent Russian commentary has concentrated on highlighting the potential of the BRICS, rather than the SCO, to displace the US-led world economic order. Russian analysts welcome the decision at last August’s leadership summit in Johannesburg to expand the BRICS membership, which they believe will strengthen the group’s international influence, especially in the Global South, and contribute to the emergence of a superior world order led by Moscow and Beijing.69 Timofey Bordachev, called the membership expansion decision, creating what some term the BRICS Plus, “the most important international event of 2023.”70 Andrey Davydenko compared the BRICS Plus structure favorably to the G7 for providing a more accurate reflection of global demographic balances—the world’s majority over the collective West—and a major step toward a more just security and development order. He particularly encouraged the group to use its new influence to reform the UN Security Council in order to reduce US dominance of that organization.71 Russian analysts lars are developing concepts to enhance the institutional capacity of the BRICS.72 Moscow may use its chairmanship of the BRICS this year to pursue some of these proposals. As with other elements of the RIC dimension, Russian analysts acknowledge that the China-India conflict could impede realization of the BRICS’ full potential.73 But they hope that Indians’ limited trust in the United States, US disrespect of Indian autonomy, and Indians’ aversion to block politics will limit New Delhi’s security cooperation with the United States.74

Russian authors hold more negative opinions regarding the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the Quad)—comprising Australia, India, Japan, and the United States—and the trilateral Australia-United Kingdom-United States (AUKUS) initiative, designed to strengthen the defense industrial potential of these three Anglo-Saxon countries, especially by leveraging advanced dual-use technologies. The Quad has undergone several periods of intense restructuring during its 20-year history. It was originally an ad hoc grouping to provide humanitarian relief during the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. Japan and the United States subsequently took advantage of the Quad’s flexible character to add issues to its agenda and establish semi-formal bodies such as working groups. A recent goal has been to diversify its members’ national economies away from Chinese supply chains. Russian authors argue that Moscow shares Beijing’s concerns about the Quad evolving into an Asian version of NATO and about these exclusive groups of Western countries undermining regional and global stability.75

The growing security ties between Japan and South Korea under US guidance also evokes Russian anxiety. Russian writers depict this process as further consolidating the US-led bloc architecture in the Indo-Pacific at the expense of non-members like Russia and China.76 Though focused against China and North Korea, they see the ROK-Japanese reconciliation as also aiding Washington’s goal of pressing Tokyo and Seoul to sanction Russia over Ukraine issues. They depict last August’s Camp David summit among the leaders of Japan, South Korea, and the United States as substantially advancing a strategy to build a US-led political-military bloc architecture, extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans, to confront Russia, China, and North Korea.77 Some Russian analysts call for strengthening an alternative triangle among Russia, China and the DPRK in response.78 But others argue that Russian-DPRK interactions are already alienating the ROK.79 Another constraint on building a Russia-China-DPRK counter coalition may be Beijing’s aversion to such blocs, concern about strengthening ROK-Japanese-US ties, reluctance to worsen ties with the United Staes, unease at compromising Beijing’s nonaligned status among audiences in the Global South, and anxiety about possible US countermeasures.80 They further point to indications of Chinese dissatisfaction with Moscow’s growing ties with Pyongyang. Not only does Beijing believe the DPRK should fall within its sphere of influence, but any Russian enhancements to North Korea’s military potential could strengthen the alliance among South Korea, Japan, and the United States.81 In this regard, though, China might calculate that challenging Russian-DPRK military ties directly could backfire, driving Pyongyang in particular further away from Beijing, and that instead the PRC should tolerate or even bandwagon with Russia and North Korea to sustain its influence with both parties.

Meanwhile, Russian enthusiasm for working with the G7 and even the G20 has noticeably diminished from earlier years. Lavrov denounced the May 2023 G7 summit in Hiroshima for its alleged preoccupation with confronting Russia and China rather than pursuing constructive international cooperation toward global challenges, which Lavrov argued confirmed the correctness of the decision to reorient Russia foreign policy toward other partners.82 Though the G20 is more inclusive than the G7 bloc of Western industrial states, Russian analysts believe that Putin and Xi perceive little benefit in engaging with either format given that alternative structures like the BRICS offer them more benefits.83


The Russian government continues to subordinate potential competing interests with China to the prime global goal of sustaining Beijing’s cooperation against the United States and its allies. A major near-term benefit for Russia of its “comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era” with China is to demonstrate that Moscow is not internationally ostracized despite Western efforts toward that end. Furthermore, Russia welcomes how reorientating the Russian economy toward China alleviates Western sanctions in the near term while laying the foundation for achieving the long-term goal of rebalancing Russia’s economic ties eastward and integrating Russia more into the dynamic Asian economy.84 Still, Moscow’s main economic challenge in Asia remains to exploit but balance its growing ties with China. Even before its February 2022 attack on Ukraine, Russian hopes for receiving massive Chinese loans, investment, and other aid to modernize Russia’s economy were not realized. Furthermore, the Ukraine war has amplified Russia’s economic dependence on China by limiting Russia’s commercial opportunities with other Asian countries.85

Beyond economics, Russian elites still believe that China’s rising power and influence provide an opportunity for the Kremlin to achieve a multilateral world order in which the United States would have to share global leadership with Russia, China, and other countries. They likely perceive the PRC’s growing economic, diplomatic, and military weight in the world as an unavoidable development that in any case offers Moscow important benefits, especially as a co-architect within the framework of a new Grand Strategic Triangle. Whatever the motivation, the Russian government has made major concessions regarding energy, regional security, weapons sales, and other potentially controversial questions to avoid alienating its most important foreign partner. Ironically, Russia’s weaknesses have also dampened potential disputes since Russia lacks the capacity as well as the will to contest Chinese preferences, removing a source of tension.

In a New Year’s commentary, Kortunov maintains that now is the time for Russia and China “to move from more or less basic cooperation to more advanced collaboration.” In his interpretation, “Collaboration implies that the two sides have shared interest in a specific outcome of their joint efforts. Cooperation does not assume a common vision, while collaboration does.” In the economic realm, this would mean boosting Russian and Chinese reciprocal direct investment, which has been making less progress than two-way trade and de-dollarization. In the humanitarian area, Russia and China would promote more “bottom-up, problem-focused joint initiatives of civil societies in a broad variety of areas—from climate change and biodiversity preservation to community development and fighting domestic violence.” And in the diplomatic field, collaboration would entail joint initiatives in multilateral institutions that, going beyond the previously passive approach of jointly responding to Western actions and specific crises, advance “a common vision of a desirable world order” with “detailed roadmaps and business plans with schedules, timetables and deadlines” and “nuanced and customized proposals to both like-minded partners and dissenting adversaries.”86 Until now, the Russian and Chinese governments have avoided the latter process, perhaps because, while they can agree on what they oppose, reconciling their long-term versions of a desirable world order may prove impossible and even counterproductive since Beijing may not envisage Moscow’s role to be as elevated as Russian leaders presume.

Another reason Russian officials have eschewed addressing potentially contentious Sino-Russian issues is that the improved ties with China represent one of the few enduring achievements of the Kremlin’s foreign policy. Risking this achievement or even criticizing this Sinocentric policy could prove an unwise career move for any Russian official or establishment commentator given how heavily Putin has personally invested his prestige in this “Turn to the East” centered on cooperation with Beijing. The ruling elites still profess to discern unrealized opportunities for cooperation with China.87 But Russian authors acknowledge that lingering fears about Russia’s becoming in effect a resource appendage of China still impede cross-border cooperation.88 Furthermore, Ivan  Zuenko laments how the Russian education system inadequately appreciates regional expertise, depriving policy makers of needed understanding regarding China and other critical international issues. Despite the financial costs and extensive time required to develop country specialists, Zuenko considers their contributions invaluable.89 However, rather than develop a more comprehensive independent analytic foundation for evaluating Sino-Russian ties, the immediate future could see Russian intellectual discourse echo the Chinese Communist Party line in China even more closely. Last summer, the Institute of China and Contemporary Asia of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow opened a Modern Ideology of China Research Laboratory to promote the academic study of Xi Jinping’s thought and policies. Though more than a dozen centers researching “Xi Jinping Thought Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” have been established in China, the new laboratory will be the first such research center in Russia. Institute Director Kirill Babaev said the new facility “will allow the Russian government, business and scientific community to understand modern China better, to formulate more precise strategies and forecasts for Russia-China relations.” Babaev explained that, “We are sure that the more we know our partners, and the more objective and correct this knowledge will be, the better it is for the development of friendly and mutually beneficial relations between Russia and China…and other partners in Asia.”90

Russian analysts acknowledge that domestic or other developments could change China’s long-term trajectory. They debate the degree to which Moscow is vulnerable to Beijing’s pressure given China’s reciprocal reliance on Russia in important respects.91 The PRC government has yet to demand territorial concessions from Russia or curtailment of Moscow’s military ties with India or other countries with potentially adversarial relations with China. But one does see periodic flashes of Chinese anger whenever the Russian government seems disrespectful to Chinese interests.92 In the long term, under new leadership, Beijing could plausibly abandon Moscow, leaving Russia without great power partners. Even so, Russian analysts typically dismiss such transformative scenarios as unlikely.93

1.  The author wishes to thank Sevonne Brockington, Rima Rusnac, and Ivan Shuran for identifying some of the Russian-language sources in this article.

2.  Xie Wenting and Bai Yunyi, “Close ties between Russia and China are crucial for global and regional stability: Russian envoy,” Global Times, November 30, 2023, https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202311/1302819.shtml.

3.  Igor Ilov, “Российско-китайские отношения отличает зрелый и стабильный характер,” Российское китаеведение, No. 3 (2023), https://lk.iccaras.ru/assets/components/dsgfileupload/files/7c589de7.pdf. This is also a major theme of my book, The New China-Russia Alignment: Critical Challenges to U.S. Security (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger Security International and Bloomsbury, 2022).

4.  Gilbert Rozman and Gaye Christofferson, eds., Putin’s “Turn to the East” in the Xi Jinping Era (London: Routledge, 2024).

5.  Andrey Dmitrievich Dikarev, “Российско-китайские отношения в 2023 году,” МГИМО Университет, January 4, 2024, https://mgimo.ru/about/news/experts/russia-china-2023/.

6.  Sergey Karaganov, “У некоторых людей пропал страх ада. Надо восстановить,” BusinessGazeta, January 7 2023, https://www.business-gazeta.ru/article/619108.

7.  The Kremlin, “Президент России Владимир Путин принял участие в пленарном заседании восьмого Восточного экономического форума,” September 12, 2023, http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/72259.

8.  The Kremlin, “Интервью Медиакорпорации Китая,” October 16, 2023, http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/72508.

9.  “Договор о Добрососедстве Дружбе и Сотрудничестве Между Российской Федерацией и Китайской Народной Республикой,” July 16, 2001, http://www.kremlin.ru/supplement/3418.

10.  Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, “Выступление и ответы на вопросы СМИ Министра иностранных дел Российской Федерации С.В. Лаврова в ходе пресс-конференции по итогам деятельности российской дипломатии в 2022 году, Москва, 18 января 2023,” January 18, 2023, https://mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1848395/?lang=ru. The “Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China on the International Relations Entering a New Era and the Global Sustainable Development,”

February 4, 2022 is available at http://en.kremlin.ru/supplement/5770.

11.  Андрей Владимиров, “Брат по расчету: как долго продлится дружба России и Китая,” Московский комсомолец, https://www.mk.ru/politics/2023/06/12/brat-po-raschetu-kak-dolgo-prodlitsya-druzhba-rossii-i-kitaya.html.

12.  Iury Tavrovsky,  «Путин и Си: высоко сидят, далеко глядят, MKRU, April 27, 2023, , https://www.mk.ru/politics/2023/04/27/putin-i-si-vysoko-sidyat-daleko-glyadyat.html.

13.  Valery Kistanov, “На саммите в Хиросиме G7 выступит единым фронтом против России и Китая,” Nezavisimaya Gazeta, May 14, 2023, https://www.ng.ru/courier/2023-05-14/9_8722_summit.html.

14.  Ivan Zuenko and Xi Heng, “Идеология антиколониализма как фактор внешней политики Китая,” Международная аналитика, vol14, No. 2 (2023), 23-34, https://www.interanalytics.org/jour/article/view/479/411.

15.  Viktor Pirozhenko, “Движение к развязке,” IzvestiyaFebruary 10, 2023, https://iz.ru/1467557/viktor-pirozhenko/dvizhenie-k-razviazke.

16.  Alexander V. Lukin, “Американо-китайское соперничество в АТР: декларации и реальность,” Rossiya v Globalnoi Politike, vol. 21, no 1 (January/February 2023), https://eng.globalaffairs.ru/articles/sino-us-rivalry-in-asia-pacific/.

17.  Alexander V. Lukin, “США и Китай: идти или жевать жвачку?” Nezavisimaya Gazeta, November 27, 2022, https://www.ng.ru/courier/2022-11-27/10_8600_china.html

18.  Konstantin Sukhoverkhov, “Третий лишний,” Izvestiya, March 2, 2023,  https://iz.ru/1477127/konstantin-sukhoverkhov/tretii-lishnii.

19.  Olga Bandysheva«Си Цзиньпин посадил за коррупцию сотни тысяч»: китаевед Лукин о том, чего ждать от съезда КПК,”  Biznes Online, October 14, 2022, https://www.business-gazeta.ru/article/567228.

20.  The Kremlin, “Telephone conversation with President of China Xi Jinping,” February 8, 2024, http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/73406.

21.  “Xi and Putin Reject U.S. ‘Interference,’ Hail Ties,” The Moscow Times, February 7, 2024, https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2024/02/08/xi-and-putin-reject-us-interference-hail-ties-a84016.

22.  “Moscow ‘firmly supports’ Beijing’s ‘national reunification’ measures,” China-Russia Report, January 4, 2024, https://chinarussiareport.substack.com/p/moscow-firmly-supports-beijings-national.

23.  Austin Ramzy and Jason Douglas, “Booming Trade with China Helps Boost Russia’s War Effort,” The Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/world/china/booming-china-russia-trade-sends-trench-digging-machines-to-ukraines-front-lines-85f5b5ff.

24.  Anatoliy Akulov, “Китай начал активно покупать нефть и газ у России. Что будет дальше?” Lenta.ru, February 8, 2024, https://lenta.ru/articles/2024/02/08/china/.

25.  Sergey Radchenko, “The Sino-Russian Relationship: It’s Complicated,” The Asan Forum, November 9, 2023, https://theasanforum.org/the-sino-russian-relationship-its-complicated/.

26.  Dmitry Grinkevich and Vladimir Kulagin, “Главный для российских импортеров банк Китая остановил все расчеты с РФ,” Vedomosti, February 8, 2024, https://www.vedomosti.ru/economics/articles/2024/02/07/1018866-glavnii-dlya-rossiiskih-importerov-bank-kitaya-ostanovil-vse-rascheti-s-rf.

27.  Sergey Aleksandrovich Lukonin and Ivan Vladimirovich Vakhrushin, “Российско-китайское торгово-экономическое сотрудничество на фоне антироссийских санкций,” Riatr (2023), http://www.riatr.ru/2023/1/Russia_and_ATR_2023-1_160-180.pdf.

28.  Sergey Tsyplakov, “Китай адаптирует Шелковый путь к новым реалиям,” Nezavisimaya GazetaSeptember 3, 2023, https://www.ng.ru/courier/2023-09-03/9_8816_china.html.

29.  “Владимир Путин принял участие в пленарной сессии юбилейного, XХ заседания Международного дискуссионного клуба ‘Валдай,’” Valdai Discussion Club, October 5, 2023, http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/72444.

30.  “Владимир Путин, Выступление на церемонии открытия III Международного форума «Один пояс, один путь,” CIS Internet Portal, October 18, 2023,  https://e-cis.info/news/566/112922/.

31.  Vladimiri Kovalev, “Как построить справедливый миропорядок в Большой Евразии,” Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn,  No. 2 (2023), https://interaffairs.ru/jauthor/material/2785.

32.  Vladimir Skosyrev“От председателя КНР ждут ‘символического жеста,’” Nezavisimaya Gazeta , March 13, 2023, https://www.ng.ru/world/2023-03-13/1_8678_china.html.

33.  Igor EDenisov , “Американское давление на Китай и возможности альянса Chip-4,” Rossiiskoe Kitaevedenie, No. 4 (2023), pp. 9-25.

34.  Catherine Belton, “Russia projects confidence as it pursues alliances to undermine West,” The Washington Post, January 28, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/01/26/kremlin-global-alliances-ukraine-us/.

35.  “Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions during a news conference on Russia’s foreign policy performance in 2023,” Russian Foreign Ministry Moscow, January 18, 2024, https://mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1926392/.

36.  Belton, “Russia projects confidence.”

37.  “Минобороны Китая анонсировало новый уровень военного сотрудничества с Россией,” Interfax, April 18, 2023, https://www.interfax.ru/world/896487.

38.  “Россия и Китай намерены углублять военно-техническое сотрудничество,” RIA Novosti, April 18, 2023, https://ria.ru/20230418/sotrudnichestvo-1866041597.html.

39.  Liu Zhen, “China’s new defence minister urges ‘closest’ military relations in first talks with Russian counterpart,” South China Morning Post, February 1, 2024, https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/3250511/new-chinese-defence-minister-dong-jun-speaks-russian-counterpart.

40.  Ibid.

41.  Xie Wenting and Bai Yunyi, “Close ties between Russia and China are crucial for global and regional stability: Russian envoy,” Global Times, November 30, 2023, https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202311/1302819.shtml.

42.  Andrey Kortunov, “What is so special about Beijing-Moscow security cooperation?” Global Times, April 20, 2023, https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202304/1289495.shtml.

43.  Ibid.

44. Viktor Pirozhenko, “Китайская формула,” Izvestiya,February 24, 2023https://iz.ru/1475054/viktor-pirozhenko/kitaiskaia-formula.

45.  Aleksandra Perminova, “От частного к общему: Концепция глобальной безопасности КНР в XXI веке,” Rossiya v Global’noi Politike, vol. 21, No. 5 (September/October 2023),  https://globalaffairs.ru/articles/ot-chastnogo-k-obshhemu/.

46.  Viktor Pirozhenko, “Китайская формула,” Izvestiya,February 24, 2023, https://iz.ru/1475054/viktor-pirozhenko/kitaiskaia-formula

47.  Iurii Tavrovsky, “Си Цзиньпин дает понять, что все дальше уходит от заветов Дэн Сяопина,” BiznesOnlineOctober 24, 2022https://www.business-gazeta.ru/article/568578.

48.  Iurii Tavrovsky, “Москва – Пекин: каковы цели Китая, предложившего план окончания конфликта на Украине,” MKRUFebruary 26, 2023, https://www.mk.ru/politics/2023/02/26/moskva-pekin-kakovy-celi-kitaya-predlozhivshego-plan-okonchaniya-konflikta-na-ukraine.html.

49.  Ibid,

50.  Sergey Strokhan, “Между Тайванем и Украиной,” Kommersant, March 8, 2023, https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/5863765.

51.  Liu Zhen, “China’s Xi Jinping, Russia’s Vladimir Putin vow deeper ties in phone call ahead of Lunar New Year,” China South Morning Post, February 8, 2024, https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3251447/chinese-president-xi-jinping-russias-vladimir-putin-vow-deeper-ties-phone-call-ahead-lunar-new-year.

52.  Evgeny Kanaev and Mikhail Terskikh, “Cooperation between Russia and the South Pacific Countries: an Asia – Pacific Multilateral Dialogue Perspective” RIATR, No. 1, 2023, http://www.riatr.ru/2023/1/Russia_and_ATR_2023-1_010-023.pdf.

53.  Stephen Blank, “A View from Russia,” The Asan Forum, October 23, 2023, https://theasanforum.org/a-view-from-russia/. See also Nivedita Kapoor, “Индийская дилемма России: Почему буксует «Большая стратегия» Москвы в регионе,” Rossiya v Global’noi Politike, vol. 21, No. 2 (March/April 2023), https://eng.globalaffairs.ru/articles/russian-grand-strategy-india/.

54.  Blank, “A View from Russia.”

55.  A.V. Torkunov and D.V. Strel’tsov, “Pоссийская политика поворота на восток: Проблемы и риски,” MEIMO , No. 4 (2023), https://www.imemo.ru/index.php?page_id=1248&file=https://www.imemo.ru/files/File/magazines/meimo/04_2023/02-TORKUNOV.pdf.

56.  Sergey Karaganov, “Here’s why Russia must permanently abandon Europe and turn fully to Asia,” Rossiiskaya Gazeta, February 5, 2024, https://rg.ru/2024/02/05/reg-sibfo/sibirizaciia.html.

57.  “China eclipses Russia as Central Asia’s top trade partner in 2023,” EurasiaNet, December 28, 2023, https://eurasianet.org/china-eclipses-russia-as-central-asias-top-trade-partner-in-2023

58.  Andrey Denisov, “Российско-китайское сотрудничество набирает обороты «на всех этажах»,” Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn, July 13, 2023, https://interaffairs.ru/news/show/41287.

59.  Aleksandr Khramchikhin, “Пекин прибирает к рукам страны Центральной Азии,” Nezavisimaya Gazeta, January 26, 2023, https://nvo.ng.ru/realty/2023-01-26/5_1222_asia.html.

60.  Nurlan Gasymov, “Си Цзиньпин провозгласил «новую эру» на саммите Китай – Центральная Азия,” Vedomosti, May 21, 2023, https://www.vedomosti.ru/politics/articles/2023/05/22/976122-na-sammite-kitai-tsentralnaya-aziya-si-tszinpin-provozglasil-novuyu-eru/.

61.  Albert M. Kumukov and Sergey G, Luzyannin, “China’s Foreign-Policy Strategy in the South Caucasus — a Transit Window to Europe?” Russia in Global Affairs, vol. 22, No. 1 (January/March 2024), https://eng.globalaffairs.ru/articles/chinas-strategy-in-south-caucasus/.

62.  Timofey Bordachev, “Азия и Евразия в 2023 году: формируя новый международный порядок,” Valdai Discussion Club, December 29, 2023, https://ru.valdaiclub.com/a/highlights/aziya-i-evraziya-v-2023-godu/.

63.  Evgenii Kozhokin, “США в Центральной Азии: политика «немягкой силы»,” Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn , no 7 (2023), https://interaffairs .ru/virtualread/ia_rus/72023/files/assets/downloads/publication.pdf.

64.  Alexander V. Lukin, “Американо-китайское соперничество в АТР: декларации и реальность,” Rossiya v Globalnoi Politike, no 1 (January/February 2023), https://eng.globalaffairs.ru/articles/sino-us-rivalry-in-asia-pacific/.

65.  Aleksandr Khramchikhin, “Пекин прибирает к рукам страны Центральной Азии,” Nezavisimaya Gazeta, January 26, 2023, https://nvo.ng.ru/realty/2023-01-26/5_1222_asia.html.

66.  Sergey Radchenko, “The Sino-Russian Relationship: It’s Complicated,” The Asan Forum, November 9, 2023, https://theasanforum.org/the-sino-russian-relationship-its-complicated/.

67.  The Kremlin, “Телефонный разговор с Председателем КНР Си Цзиньпином,” February 8, 2024, kremlin.ru/events/president/news/73406.

68.   Iury Tavrovsky, “Триумф ШОС означает сокращение «шагреневой кожи» американской гегемонии” MKRU, September 19 2022, https://www.mk.ru/politics/2022/09/19/triumf-shos-oznachaet-sokrashhenie-shagrenevoy-kozhi-amerikanskoy-gegemonii.html.

69.  Kirill Babaev and Sergey Lavrov, “И вширь, и вглубь: Пути укрепления институциональной основы БРИКС,” Rossiya v Global’noi Politike, vol. 21, No. 5 (September/October 2023), https://globalaffairs.ru/articles/vglub-i-vshir-brics/.

70.  Timofey Bordachev, “Россия, Большая Евразия и современная международная политика,” Valdai Discussion Club, February 7, 2024, https://ru.valdaiclub.com/a/highlights/rossiya-bolshaya-evraziya-i-mezhdunarodnaya-politika/.

71.  Andrey Davydenko, “БРИКС как символ нового мира,” Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn, No. 9 (2023), https://interaffairs.ru/jauthor/material/2875.

72.  Evelina Fokina, “Institutionalization of BRICS: From Literature Review to Making Reality,” Russian International Affairs Council, December 1, 2023, https://russiancouncil.ru/en/analytics-and-comments/columns/around-brics/institutionalization-of-brics-from-literature-review-to-making-reality/.

73.  Yaroslav Lissovolik, “BRICS Plus after the 2023 ‘Expansion Summit’,” Russian International Affairs Council, January 17, 2024, https://russiancouncil.ru/en/analytics-and-comments/analytics/brics-plus-after-the-2023-expansion-summit/.

74.   Maksim Suchkov, “Незаменимый партнёр для незаменимой супердержавы,” Global Affairs, March 1, 2023, https://globalaffairs.ru/articles/partnyor-dlya-superderzhavy/

75.  Sergey Strokan, “Океаны грозят Китаю,” Kommersant, March 7, 2023, https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/5863475.

76.  Igor Istomin, “Вашингтон–Сеул–Токио в доктрине Байдена,” Rossiya v Global’noi Politike, vol. 21, No. 3 (May/June 2023), https://globalaffairs.ru/articles/washington-seoul-tokyo-biden/.

77.  Alexander Vorontsov, “Реинкарнация треугольника США – Япония – Южная Корея,” Valdai Discussion Club, August 23, 2023, https://ru.valdaiclub.com/a/highlights/reinkarnatsiya-treugolnika/.

78.  Олеся Казакова, Даниил Михайлов, and Сона Рустамова, “Какое оружие КНДР может поставить РФ для СВО: итоги встречи Путина и Ким,” NEWS, September 13, 2023, https://news.ru/asia/kakoe-oruzhie-kndr-mozhet-postavit-rf-dlya-svo-itogi-vstrechi-putina-i-kima/.

79.  Sergey Strokhan, “Москва и Пхеньян далеко зашли,” Kommersant , September 25, 2023, https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/6237430.

80.  Lee Dong Gyu, “China’s Position on Increasing Military Cooperation between North Korea and Russia,” The Asan Institute for Policy Studies, January 4, 2024, http://en.asaninst.org/contents/chinas-position-on-increasing-military-cooperation-between-north-korea-and-russia/.

81.  “Китай стал искать помощи у США из-за сближения России с Северной Кореей,” Moscow TimesFebruary 2, 2024, https://www.moscowtimes.eu/2024/02/02/kitai-stal-iskat-pomoschi-u-ssha-iz-za-sblizheniya-rossii-s-severnoi-koreei-a120459.

82.  “Decisions of G7 Hiroshima summit aimed at containing both Russia and China — Lavrov,” TASS, May 20, 2023, https://tass.com/politics/1620575.

83.  “Сейчас Путину и Си Цзиньпину с Западом просто не о чем говорить: Диалог между Михаилом Делягином и Владимиром Кожемякином,” Mezhdunarodnaya ZhiznNo. 9 (2023), https://interaffairs.ru/jauthor/material/2877.

84.  Rozman and Christofferson, eds., Putin’s “Turn to the East.”

85.  Blank, “A View from Russia.”

86.  Andrey Kortunov, “More advanced collaboration expected in 2024 China-Russia ties,” Global Times, January 2, 2024, https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202401/1304638.shtml.

87.  Russian Foreign Ministry, “Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions during a news conference on Russia’s foreign policy performance in 2023,” January 18, 2024, https://mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1926392/.

88.  Petr. Ya. Baklanov and Victor. L. Larin, “Far eastern regions of RF in modern Russian-Chinese cooperation,” MEiMO, No. 6 (2023), https://www.imemo.ru/index.php?page_id=1248&file=https://www.imemo.ru/files/File/magazines/meimo/06_2023/02-BAKLANOV-eng.pdf.

89.  Ivan Zuenko, “Китай как нормальная страна,” Rossiya v Global’noi Politike, vol. 21, No. 4 (2023), https://globalaffairs.ru/articles/kitaj-kak-normalnaya-strana/.

90.  Liu Zhen, “Russia opens research centre on Xi Jinping’s ideology, the first outside China,” South China Morning Post, July 2, 2023, https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3226235/russia-opens-research-centre-xi-jinpings-ideology-first-outside-china.

91.  Mikhail Korostikov, ““Возможности без желания. Почему Россия не станет вассалом Китая,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, June 14, 2023,https://carnegieendowment.org/politika/89964.

92.  Jacob Gu, “China Embassy Rips ‘Brutal’ Russia Border Incident in Rare Move,” Bloomberg, August 4, 2023, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-08-04/china-embassy-rips-brutal-russia-border-incident-in-rare-move#xj4y7vzkg.

93.  Aleksandr Lomanov, “To Foresee Black Swans, to Watch Out for Gray Rhinos: Xi Jinping Getting China Ready for a New Long March,” Russia in Global Affairs, vol. 21, No. 2 (April/June 2023), https://eng.globalaffairs.ru/articles/black-swans-gray-rhinos/.

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