Chinese and Russian Relations: What Both Sides Are Saying

The Flag Staff Contributor
Chinese and Russian Relations: What Both Sides Are Saying
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Chinese and Russian Relations: Foreign ministers from the G-7 developed nations met Tuesday to discuss geopolitical challenges facing the world. Here’s what both sides are saying. To have stories like this and more delivered directly to your inbox, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.

Story: Chinese and Russian Relations

Holly Ellyatt, writing for CNBC, reports: “Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven (G-7) developed nations are to meet in London on Tuesday to discuss the most pressing geopolitical challenges facing the world, including Russia and China.

The UK is hosting G-7 foreign and development ministers in the first face-to-face meetings since the coronavirus pandemic began, and the first gathering of the group’s foreign ministers since 2019.

Geopolitical issues that the UK said ‘threaten to undermine democracy, freedoms, and human rights’ will be on the agenda Tuesday, including ‘relations with Russia, China, and Iran, as well as the crisis in Myanmar, the violence in Ethiopia, and the ongoing war in Syria,’ the government said in a statement.

Russia’s ‘ongoing malign activity,’ the UK said, including the build-up of troops on the border with Ukraine, its imprisonment of opposition figure Alexei Navalny, and the situation in Belarus, are high on the agenda.”

Here’s what foreign-affairs experts are saying about the imminent discussions:

On The Right

Some foreign policy analysts see the partnership between Russia and China as a major threat to western interests.

Andrea Kendall-Taylor and David Shullman write in Foreign Affairs about the “amicable tone” struck by Chinese and Russian foreign ministers who together “rejected Western criticism of their human rights records and issued a joint statement offering an alternative vision for global governance.” They see the “combined challenge” of the two nations as “greater than the sum of its parts,” with “technological cooperation that might eventually allow them to innovate faster together than the United States can on its own.” Ultimately, the writers conclude, “The Chinese-Russian relationship is not impermeable, and the United States should not shy away from proactive measures to exploit its fissures.” They believe doing so will require “creative thinking” and is “critical to protecting US interests and liberal democracies in the decades to come.”

On The Left

Meanwhile, other analysts see Russia as more of a geopolitical nuisance than an imminent threat.

In Newsweek, Joshua Shifrinson opines, “The Russian challenge is overblown.” Nevertheless, he believes “Any state with a lot of nuclear weapons is a potential threat,” and “Russia is a destabilizing force in Europe and the Middle East,” but more of a “problem child” to be “coolly managed” than a “threat to core American interests.” Although Shifrinson states its actions in Georgia and Ukraine are regrettable, “Russia simply lacks the wherewithal to upset Europe’s balance of power, much less conquer the continent.” Furthermore, he is skeptical that their actions closely relate to “American interests.” Instead, the US should “address the economic, political, and security needs of their citizens” while addressing “the Russian challenge in cool, hardheaded fashion.” He says this requires a “blend defense and deterrence,” a stable “bilateral nuclear relationship,” and a joint recognition that “US and Russian interests are generally not in direct conflict.”

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Carla Norrlöf writes in The Washington Post: “Last month, the United States broadened financial sanctions against China while simultaneously promising to prolong Ukraine sanctions on Russia and impose further ones for election interference, the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and the SolarWinds hack. In a rare joint statement in late March, China and Russia doubled down on earlier pledges to upend the global reliance on the US dollar, and the long-standing global financial system that enables the US to strong-arm them.

Will the Sino-Russian strategy succeed? My research suggests ‘dollar hegemony’ is stable for many reasons, primarily due to the United States’ financial centrality and ability to secure investments. The measures announced so far, such as de-dollarization, renminbi digitalization, and alternative financial settlement and messaging systems, are unlikely to kick the dollar to the curb. But the reaction from America’s rivals underscores the limits of the dollar as a tool of deterrence.”

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