Russia and China share similar interests and positions when it comes to energy, military, diplomacy and ideology but that doesn’t provide a foundation for a strong Moscow-Beijing alliance? says Yale University’s Christopher Miller.
“Both countries share ideological goals that are crucial to the maintenance of their domestic political systems,” he writes for the Moscow Times:
Both believe that autocracy is a legitimate form of governance and that talk of human rights threatens stability. Both insist that democracy — or “Western-style democracy,” as they often put it — is only fit for some societies and is not a universal aspiration. And both governments are deeply committed to countering attempts by the U.S., European countries and NGOs to promote political liberalization in other countries.
But the most important cause for skepticism about a stronger Chinese-Russian entente is that neither country is in a position to play a primary role in helping the other accomplish its core goals, he writes:
China’s main aims are to safeguard economic growth at home and expand its influence in the Asia-Pacific region. In both areas, Russia can play a role, but only a minor one. The U.S., Europe and Asian countries will be far more important to China’s economic development than Russia will. Moscow, meanwhile, is currently focused on its western frontier. Yet China has little interest in Ukraine, Georgia or Moldova, and is unlikely to get seriously involved.