Russia and China. The evolution of the relationship. 1991-2019

Russia and China. The evolution of the relationship. 1991-2019
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The conduct of sovereign states in international relations is determined on several premises such as coexistence, interdependence, national priorities, competition, clash of interests, and struggle for superiority in global affairs. The very nature of these attributes leads to foreign policy goals through which a country either displays its competence, or addresses its inadequacies. This, in turn, leads to the traditional balance of power theory where nation-states develop strong comprehensive partnerships either at the bilateral level or the multilateral level, cooperating to limit the rise of adversaries/competitors, and to establish hegemony in regional/international geo-politics. The two World Wars comprise a classic example of how countries allied with each other to establish status quo in international politics. The post Cold War era, and the end of bipolar politics led to the emergence of a unipolar world led by the United States. Notwithstanding the dynamic nature of international relations, alliances among countries continue to exist to create a balance of power either to challenge the existing system or to preserve the status quo. In the current great game of world politics, the growing proximity between Russia and China finds a special mention as (a resurgent) Russia and China (an Asian power with global aspirations) with shared interests, common goals and mutual concerns have set out to change the global architecture much in their favour.
The two countries, based on their individual capabilities, have emerged as crucial economic, defence, and strategic actors in world politics.With Russia being isolated by the Western allies post Ukraine imbroglio and accession of Crimea, and sanction politics affecting its economic growth, Moscow realised the need for stable and long-term engagements and reliable partners for sustainable growth and influence in global affairs.
Hence, the Kremlin announced the “pivot to Asia” strategy to further proliferate its influence in the region. Besides, Moscow is aware of the shifting global economic balance of power towards Asia, and understands that engaging in the geo-politics of theregion is essential for Russia’s successful long-term development. The current international relations moreover are witnessing a power transition which is taking place from West to East or North to South. Strategic thinkers have been presenting their arguments in this regard based on the developments taking place in the Asian region in particular. Many have gone to the extent of defining the current international system as the “Asian Century”.
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