go to top
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping talk during their meeting in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, Sept. 11, 2014 (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Mikhail Klementyev, Presidential Press Service).

No Passing Fad, Russia-China Friendship Puts West in a Bind

Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

Russia and China are good friends these days. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Moscow last week and, by signing a bundle of economic agreements, demonstrated Beijing’s disregard for Western sanctions on Russia over Ukraine. Early in the Ukrainian conflict, American and European officials hoped that Beijing would take steps to penalize Russia over its annexation of Crimea. But it has confined itself to token complaints, while reinforcing its trade relations with its northern neighbor.

This is not the first time China has disappointed Western officials by sticking close to Moscow in recent years. Throughout the Syrian civil war, American and European diplomats at the United Nations have tried to prize their Chinese and Russian counterparts apart, arguing that Beijing has little real reason to support the regime in Damascus. On a few occasions, the Chinese have apparently used their influence to moderate Russian positions on second-order questions such as humanitarian aid. ...

Want to Read the Rest?
Login or Subscribe Today.
Get unlimited access to must-read news, analysis and opinion from top experts. Subscribe to World Politics Review and you'll receive instant access to 9,000+ articles in the World Politics Review Library, along with new comprehensive analysis every weekday . . . written by leading topic experts.

YES, I want to subscribe now.