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China-Russia Security Relations: Strategic Parallelism without Partnership or Passion?

China-Russia Security Relations: Strategic Parallelism without Partnership or Passion?

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This report argues that, although Chinese-Russian relations have improved along several important dimensions, security cooperation between Beijing and Moscow has remained limited, episodic, and tenuous. The two governments support each other on select issues but differ on others. Since these interests conflict as well as coincide, the relationship is not necessarily moving in an anti-American direction. Although no action undertaken by these two great powers is insignificant and Washington must continue to monitor carefully developments in Beijing and Moscow, thus far their fitfully improving ties have not presented a major security challenge to the United States or its allies. Nevertheless, the radical changes in great power relations during the past century—-which also witnessed major transformations in ties between Beijing and Moscow, from allies in the 1950s to armed adversaries in the 1960s—-behooves U.S. Army and other national security planners to anticipate the potential for major discontinuities in Sino-Russian relations. Above all, American officials need to pursue a mixture of “shaping and hedging” policies that aim to avert a hostile Chinese-Russian alignment while concurrently preparing the United States to better counter such a development should it nevertheless arise despite American efforts.
This report argues that, although Chinese-Russian relations have improved along several important dimensions, security cooperation between Beijing and Moscow has remained limited, episodic, and tenuous. The two governments support each other on select issues but differ on others. Since these interests conflict as well as coincide, the relationship is not necessarily moving in an anti-American direction. Although no action undertaken by these two great powers is insignificant and Washington must continue to monitor carefully developments in Beijing and Moscow, thus far their fitfully improving ties have not presented a major security challenge to the United States or its allies. Nevertheless, the radical changes in great power relations during the past century—-which also witnessed major transformations in ties between Beijing and Moscow, from allies in the 1950s to armed adversaries in the 1960s—-behooves U.S. Army and other national security planners to anticipate the potential for major discontinuities in Sino-Russian relations. Above all, American officials need to pursue a mixture of “shaping and hedging” policies that aim to avert a hostile Chinese-Russian alignment while concurrently preparing the United States to better counter such a development should it nevertheless arise despite American efforts.

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CHINA-RUSSIA SECURITY RELATIONS:STRATEGIC PARALLELISM WITHOUTPARTNERSHIP OR PASSION?Richard WeitzAugust 2008
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as dened
in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. As such, it is in thepublic domain, and under the provisions of Title 17, United StatesCode, Section 105, it may not be copyrighted.
Visit our website for other free publication downloadshttp://www.StrategicStudiesInstitute.army.mil/
 
ii*****The views expressed in this report are those of the author
and do not necessarily reect the ofcial policy or position of the
Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S.Government. This report is cleared for public release; distributionis unlimited.*****This manuscript was funded by the U.S. Army War CollegeExternal Research Associates Program. Information on thisprogram is available on our website,
www.StrategicStudiesInstitute.army.mil
, at the Publishing button.*****Comments pertaining to this report are invited and should beforwarded to: Director, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army WarCollege, 122 Forbes Ave, Carlisle, PA 17013-5244.*****All Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) publications are availableon the SSI homepage for electronic dissemination. Hard copiesof this report also may be ordered from our homepage. SSI’shomepage address is:
www.StrategicStudiesInstitute.army.mil
.*****The Strategic Studies Institute publishes a monthly e-mailnewsletter to update the national security community on theresearch of our analysts, recent and forthcoming publications, andupcoming conferences sponsored by the Institute. Each newsletteralso provides a strategic commentary by one of our researchanalysts. If you are interested in receiving this newsletter, pleasesubscribe on our homepage at
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/
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ISBN 1-58487-360-4
 
iii
CONTENTS
Foreword .........................................................................vSummary .......................................................................viiIntroduction .................................................................... 1Bilteral Ties ......................................................................3Energy Security .............................................................17Russian Military Sales to China ..................................24Other Military Cooperation ....................................... 34Central Asia ...................................................................51The Shanghai Cooperation Organization .................65Korea .............................................................................. 78 Japan ...............................................................................88Taiwan ............................................................................96South Asia ......................................................................98The Middle East ..........................................................103Conclusion and Policy Recommendations .............117Endnotes ......................................................................129About the Author .......................................................163

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