Strategic Insights: The Ukraine Crises and the Emerging Sino-Russian Political Alliance [open pdf - 659KB]
"The first half of 2014 witnessed a notable enhancement of Russian-Chinese relations. Signs of this visible geostrategic shift include high-profile summit meetings, breakthroughs in energy/gas deals, renewed interest in military-technology cooperation, more integrated military exercises, and closer diplomatic coordination on regional issues (Syria, Iran, Korea, etc.) and multilateral forums (Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia [CICA]; Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa [BRICS]; G20; United Nations [UN]; etc.). In early May, a Chinese government think tank went as far as to propose to form a 'political alliance' with Russia as was sought by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Reactions to these developments are mixed, ranging from dismissive to alarmist. They nonetheless have only captured part of the picture. It is argued here that much of the recent Sino-Russian posturing is largely, if not exclusively, driven by some short- and medium-term external 'stimuli' such as the Ukraine crisis, the U.S.-Asia rebalancing, and/or Japan's accelerating departure from pacifism, real or perceived. A close look at the three summit meetings between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Putin in 2014 indicates a complex and nuanced reciprocity between the two Eurasian giants. For Moscow and Beijing, a conventional military alliance is not only unnecessary but also unwise, at least for the time being."
Strategic Studies Institute: http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/