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The Future of China-Russia Relations

The Future of China-Russia Relations

Edited by James Bellacqua
Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 372
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  • Book Info
    The Future of China-Russia Relations
    Book Description:

    Relations between China and Russia have evolved dramatically since their first diplomatic contact, particularly during the twentieth century. During the past decade China and Russia have made efforts to strengthen bilateral ties and improve cooperation on a number of diplomatic fronts. The People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation maintain exceptionally close and friendly relations, strong geopolitical and regional cooperation, and significant levels of trade. In The Future of China-Russia Relations, scholars from around the world explore the current state of the relationship between the two powers and assess the prospects for future cooperation and possible tensions in the new century. The contributors examine Russian and Chinese perspectives on a wide range of issues, including security, political relationships, economic interactions, and defense ties. This collection explores the energy courtship between the two nations and analyzes their interests and policies regarding Central Asia, the Korean Peninsula, and Taiwan.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-2939-6
    Subjects: History, Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Illustrations and Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-xii)
  5. Introduction. Contemporary Sino-Russian Relations: Thirteen Years of a “Strategic Partnership”
    (pp. 1-10)
    James Bellacqua

    In April 1996, Russian president Boris Yeltsin and his Chinese counterpart, Jiang Zemin, signed documentation formally establishing a “strategic partnership” between the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The formation of this partnership was the product of what Gilbert Rozman describes in this book as the “sustained upward trend” in bilateral relations and was symbolically significant in illustrating just how far these two nations had come in their ties with one another. A relationship based on economic dependence and military alliance that began in 1950 ultimately broke down over ideological disputes between Mao Zedong and Nikita Khrushchev,...

  6. Part One. The Making of a Strategic Partnership

    • 1 The Sino-Russian Strategic Partnership: How Close? Where To?
      (pp. 13-32)
      Gilbert Rozman

      The Sino-Soviet dispute reached its full intensity in 1966–1976, and we have observed a sustained upward trend in relations between Beijing and Moscow in the three decades since. Snapshots of ties in 1976–1978, 1986–1988, 1996–1998, and 2006–2008 show continuous improvement even if momentum was at times interrupted by a succession of barriers. As we enter the fourth decade of advancing relations, the focus turns to three lingering questions: First, to what extent does unevenness in bilateral ties complicate the strategic partnership? Second, in what ways do domestic changes and national identities still restrain relations? And...

    • 2 Russian Perspectives on China: Strategic Ambivalence
      (pp. 33-55)
      Andrew Kuchins

      The Russian perspective on China is shaped by a complex amalgamation of geopolitical, economic, historical, and cultural factors that add up to a profound ambivalence toward their rapidly growing neighbor. Despite this ambivalence, Russian policy toward China for the past two decades under Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin, and now Dmitri Medvedev has been driven mainly by pragmatic considerations, resulting in a gradual rapprochement and thickening of the relationship. As the Russian economy staged a remarkable recovery over the last decade, and Putin brought to politics the aura of an authoritarian stabilization, Russia’s sensitivities of demographic and economic vulnerability to the...

    • 3 Why a “Strategic Partnership”? The View from China
      (pp. 56-80)
      Elizabeth Wishnick

      Chinese leaders claim that their country pursues a global foreign policy that does not favor any particular country. Indeed, China has established various types of partnerships with many countries, including the United States, Great Britain, France, Italy, South Korea, Indonesia, Algeria, and Argentina.¹ Nevertheless, what is unique about the strategic cooperative partnership [zhanlue xiezuo huoban guanxi] that has characterized Sino-Russian relations since 1996 is its cross-cutting influence. This chapter evaluates how the partnership fits into key tenets of Chinese foreign policy: peaceful development, win-win diplomacy aiming toward multipolarization, and the creation of a harmonious world based on the democratization of...

  7. Part Two. Economic Relations and the Energy Factor

    • 4 Economic Integration of China and Russia in the Post-Soviet Era
      (pp. 83-145)
      Richard Lotspeich

      Although both the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation have been extensively examined by economists since the advent of the transition from central planning, research on the economic relations between the two countries is relatively scarce. Much of the recent economic literature that treats both countries is concerned with comparing and explaining the different experiences under economic transition. Yet as Russia and China have followed their respective paths away from central planning, their economies have also become increasingly integrated. This is quite natural, as they have a long physical border and a history of economic relations that began...

    • 5 Sino-Russian Energy Relations: An Uncertain Courtship
      (pp. 146-176)
      Erica S. Downs

      The China-Russia energy relationship has not reached the level of development their geographical proximity and economic complementariness implies. In terms of forging an energy partnership, China and Russia appear to be a perfect match. China, the world’s second largest oil consumer and third largest oil importer and a small but growing consumer and importer of natural gas, is seeking “security of supply” and the diversification of its imports away from the Persian Gulf and the sea lines of communication. Russia, the world’s second largest oil producer and exporter and the world’s top producer and exporter of natural gas, is pursuing...

  8. Part Three. The Bilateral Defense Relationship

    • 6 Russo-Chinese Defense Relations: The View from Moscow
      (pp. 179-202)
      Kevin Ryan

      When the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 put Russia and China on different vectors to post–Cold War development—one democratic, one communist—the two countries might have drifted farther apart as they found their place in a globalized world. However, common concerns such as economic growth, national security, and demographic change have pulled these two giants together, closer than when they were professed comrades in communism. For those trained to see social progress through the Marxist dialectic, Russia and China have become the “thesis and antithesis,” which the most imaginative believers could not have foreseen.

      Russian-Chinese military...

    • 7 Sino-Russian Defense Ties: The View from Beijing
      (pp. 203-230)
      Jing-dong Yuan

      The end of the Cold War has witnessed perhaps one of the most significant transformations in interstate relations. In the course of almost two decades, and especially since Russian president Boris Yeltsin’s visit to China in December 1992, Beijing and Moscow have formed a strategic and cooperative partnership, resolved their boundary disputes, and cooperated on many important international issues where both countries support the role of the United Nations and multipolarity, promote a new international order, and oppose unilateralism, the “Cold War mentality,” and power politics. In 2001, the two countries signed the “Treaty of Good Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation.”...

  9. Part Four. China, Russia, and Regional Issues:: Central Asia, Japan, and the Two Koreas

    • 8 Russia and China in Central Asia
      (pp. 233-265)
      Charles E. Ziegler

      Conceptualizing Russian and Chinese relations with Central Asia is a difficult task. The leaderships of these two major powers approach foreign policy in largely realist terms, seeking to maximize their power, jealously guarding their national sovereignty, and engaging in balancing against a superior adversary. Yet neither country fully fits the standard realist model in its foreign policy behavior. Russia had been a power in decline, until Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials found that energy resources gave their country far more leverage in world politics than military power, the old Soviet staple. China is a rising power, but its foreign...

    • 9 Overshadowed by China: The Russia-China Strategic Partnership in the Asia-Pacific Region
      (pp. 266-290)
      Leszek Buszynski

      Russian president Boris Yeltsin’s second visit to Beijing, in April 1996, was indicative of a shift of foreign policy away from complete identification with the West toward a more balanced position. Yeltsin had supported a pro-Western policy since the collapse of the Soviet Union but had become disenchanted by the West because of its plans to expand NATO eastward, and also its intervention in the Bosnian conflict over 1993–1995 to the detriment of the Serbs. The significance of Yeltsin’s turn toward China was little understood at the time, as it was regarded as a maneuver to bring about Chinese...

  10. Part Five. China, Russia, and Regional Issues:: Taiwan

    • 10 China, Russia, and the Taiwan Issue: The View from Moscow
      (pp. 293-311)
      Jeanne L. Wilson

      The development and steady upgrading of Russian-Chinese ties during the presidencies of Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin meant that Russia had to devise a framework for its interactions with Taiwan that was acceptable to China. At the same time, the nature of Russia’s relationship with the People’s Republic of China (PRC)—most specifically the transfer of weaponry—had an impact on China’s interactions with Taiwan, as well as the structural dynamics of the cross-Straits crisis. This chapter examines Russian foreign policy toward the China-Taiwan issue. The first section sets forward a chronological account of Russia’s interactions with Taiwan and with...

    • 11 The Taiwan Issue and the Sino-Russian Strategic Partnership: The View from Beijing
      (pp. 312-332)
      Shelley Rigger

      The purpose of this chapter is to determine what the government of the People’s Republic of China expects from Russia, vis-à-vis Taiwan, and to what extent Moscow’s current policy and behavior meet those expectations. Regrettably, the Chinese leadership has not yet published a white paper on the topic, so answers must be divined from other sources. As a starting point for collecting and analyzing evidence on the topic, this chapter assumes that China’s policy toward Taiwan rests on the following logic:

      1. For the PRC leadership, preserving and protecting China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity are matters of national and...

  11. List of Contributors
    (pp. 333-338)
  12. Index
    (pp. 339-360)