International politics is an ocean of hot water. In each second geo strategic relations are changing. Alliances and dalliances are taking place. Those states, which were dread enemies in the past, are camaraderie now. The same may prove true for China Russia relations. Their history is being marked with mutual wariness. A border conflict erupted between the two countries in 1960, which brought them to the brink of nuclear war. But the situation is upside down now and ties between China and Russia have developed very rapidly in recent years.
On 21 October 2021, for the first time Chinese and Russian warships conducted joint military drill in the western pacific ocean on the pretext of maintaining peace and stability in the region. Russia troops became the first foreign force to join Chinese regular drill. After this unparalleled event, on 19 November 2021 Chinese and Russian militaries sent bomber flights into Japanese and South Korean air defence zone, forcing Seoul to scramble its fighter jets in response. This joint patrols were of grave concern for the West and Japan.
Recently China and Russia inked a new pact to further deepen defence ties. Under this agreement Russia Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and his counter part Chinese Wei Fenghe agreed to jointly develop missile attack warning system, military helicopter and even research stations on the moon. The above description explained the military ties between Chinese and Russia. But these ties are not only military but also diplomatic and economics.
Importance of Russia for China is that Russia is the biggest supply of weapon and second largest source of its oil imports.
Importance of China for Russia on the other hand is that China is the top country trading partner of Russia and is the key source of investment in Russian energy projects i-e Yamal LNG plant in arctic circle and power of Siberia pipeline, a fifty five billion dollar gas project.
What brought China and Russia together?
- Same approaches towards other countries.
China and Russia have similar approaches to Iran , Syria and Venezuela. They also want to sanction North Korea.
- China-Russia’s hostility towards liberal democratic values.
China and Russia both are ruled by anti democratic regimes. They have common interests and they wanted to get legitimacy and stability. Both having self fulfilling prophecy.
The two share border of 4300 km .
- Same hegemonic aggressor
The growing relation between China and Russia is reciprocal in nature. There alliance is for worst case scenario. US has imposed many sanctions against China and Russia which brought them together.
- Personal relation between the two premiers
There is a personal rapport between president Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin . They met for 30 times since 2013.
- Technological gap in Russia
Russia want to fill the technological gap left by the withdrawal of western companies in Russia after annexation of Crimean.
- Response in the west and Europe towards growing ties of China and Russia
According to NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg China and Russia are not too separate threats . US has formed alliances against the growing relation between China and Russia like Quad, and Aukus. These are labeled as Asian NATO by China.