The increasing affinity between Russia and China is pushing the world toward a multipolar world order.
As the United States pulled itself back from international affairs in Trump’s era, the reemergence of Russia, which was broken after the Cold War, and China, a direct threat to the United States, is promising to challenge the national security of the US on varying matters.
Whether it is the ballistic missile cooperation between these countries or the planning to set a new space station on the moon, the Russian-Chinese bilateral relations are growing at an unprecedented pace, posing a threat to the United States hegemony.
The proximity of the two countries will also open the doors for both countries to pursue a strategic relationship in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, giving China an upper hand in this all-important region.
What are the changing dynamics of Russia and China relations, and how will these relations change global politics in the times to come? Let’s see.
Beijing and Mexico Closeness in Missile Technology: A Proliferation of Weapons?
China started building its Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) missiles initially under the abortive project 640 back in the 20th century.
With this project, China initiated its journey into military radars. The closeness of Russia and China is, once again, making it possible.
The worst thing about these relations is that as neither of these countries is a democracy, they are trying to keep their relations secretive to the maximum extent possible.
Currently, the two countries are collaborating on one project of BMEWS worth $60 million publicly.
While the totality of the projects remains unknown, the upsurge in the military collaboration is tilting the balance of power away from the United States.
These efforts can trigger the arms proliferation regimes that can set a dangerous precedent for the rest of the world.
The problem is that whenever two alliances go into an arms race, it has consequences far beyond that alliance.
For instance, other countries can also perceive the military upsurge according to their own sense of national interest, resulting in an unstoppable arms race.
In this regard, the behavior of North Korea and India will be worth watching. While North Korea will surely retaliate with larger military spendings in case of the US response to the Sino-Russia relationship, India can also cry foul for the developing events.
Mission Colonizing the Moon: Russia and China on a Roll
The increasing multipolarity of the world is also evident as both countries are planning to set up a new station on the moon as suggested by the latest agreements.
Roscosmos, the Russia Space Agency, and China’s National Space Administration (CNSA) signed an MOU evincing an establishment of the new lunar space station soon.
This MOU has the potential to escalate Space Wars as the superpowers can move further to explore the only natural satellite of Earth.
Not only this, but Russia and China are also believed to cooperate in the Chang’e-7 mission, China’s plan to dominate the moon in a couple of years.
Rising Economic Activity between Central Asian Economies
The rising tensions for the United States also worsen owing to the everlasting trade relationship between Moscow and Beijing.
China is still the number one importer of Russian oil, stabilizing the Russian economy. Similarly, Russia is also exporting natural gas to China.
In return, China is finding a sustainable market in Russia for its manufacturing products, capitalizing on the trade potential of the region.
Of the two countries, China is benefiting more from the persisting trade, as it generates multi-billion dollars in surplus resulting from trade with Russia.
The expansionist ambitions of China in the form of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) are also posing a threat to the global hegemony of the United States.
The closeness of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, is also a sign of worry for the United States.
Russia is not part of BRI at the moment, but the ongoing relations of both countries can result in the inclusion of Russia in the project.
The pace at which China is growing signals the US to push for better relations between Moscow and Washington.
However, the United States seems to have no other choice other than strengthening its alliance elsewhere. As the United States is also eyeing a withdrawal from Afghanistan and Yemen, both of these countries will play a significant role in shaping the events in post-withdrawal politics.
Russia is believed to have a strong influence on the Taliban, so it will not refrain from exercising its potential.
As China and Russia are neighbors, with a shared border of almost 4209 kilometers in Central Asia, they have varying avenues to contribute to each other’s progress.
For the United States to survive and recalibrate the balance of power, the US should continue exploring its relations with India.
As the US is also seeking Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD) dialogue in Asia, so its relations with the four concerned countries, including India, Japan, and Australia, are of unprecedented importance in these trying times.