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The Growing Closeness Between China And Russia – What To Expect?



World Politics

“History repeats itself – first as a tragedy, second as a farce”.

Karl Marx

Marx was right in many ways. World Politics is rapidly and unfortunately moving towards the times of strategic grouping which was seen before the two great world wars in the previous century. The world still mourns and reaps the deadly consequences of those wars even today, but the world leaders do not seem to be learning the true lessons yet! 

After the Cold War and the gradual emergence of the USA as the sole superpower in the world, Russia and China seemed to be in the “hibernating” phase. This was the time when they began quietly developing their damaged prestige through economic and technological advancement which gradually made them emerge as powerful nations by the turn of the century. Today we see another phase of strategic blocs being made in the Asian region; this time between China and Russia against the USA.

With another chapter of strategic alliances, military cooperation, economic interdependence, and ideological “friendships”, the world once again seems to be falling into the quagmire of the West and the rest phenomenon. However, with the emergence and involvement of many non-state actors like the Islamic military groups such as ISIS, the Taliban, and others, the situation can turn messy if any armed conflict surfaced in any part of the world. A few of the pacts and alliances include the QUAD grouping, the Five Eyes, and the newly formed AUKUS.

Recently, China and Russia are closer in terms of strategic cooperation and military engagement. The Chinese president Xi Jinping and the Russian president Vladimir Putin talked through video meetings earlier in December 2021 over some “serious issues” in the region. This meeting is seen as “friendly” by experts which imply the growing cooperation among the two nations over many aspects. One such aspect is Ukraine.

Ukraine, after being separated from Russia, has been trying to join NATO to secure its position as a Western ally. This move is also taken for avoiding any other annexation by Russia as was once attempted in 2014. Russia, is, however, concerned over Ukraine’s efforts to join NATO as the Organization’s Article 50 ensures joint attack on any aggressor that attacks any one of the NATO members. 

Although the apparent purpose of the meeting between President Xi and Putin was over the Ukraine matter, experts believe it was more than that in covert ways. This is deducted from the highly cordial expressions, body language, and language that was used between the two presidents. Putin referred to Xi as “my dear friend, Xi” while the Chinese counterpart called him “my old friend”. Such conversations between the two Asian giants at the time when the West has been creating blocs of military, intelligence, technological, naval, and economic cooperation such as the QUAD and AUKUS, seems like a brewing partnership against these alliances.

There has been a lot of damage in the post-war period when the world seemed to be doomed for a while amid the twin nuclear blasts in Japan. However, somehow we recovered but the history has horrific accounts for everyone who can see and understand the impacts of such conflicts. Especially now with hundred times more precise and dangerous technology in the military, a single bilateral conflict can spiral into another world war.

If this happened, God forbid, it would be a farce as Marx pointed, as it would be sheer stupidity on the part of the world leaders not to have learned the lessons from the past.

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