Russia and China strengthened their economic, military, and political relations this year, despite their uncomfortable history in the past, as both nations say they dislike what they call mounting pressure from the West. This year, the two sides held a series of armed exercises and issued joint diplomatic statements intended at Western nations. For example, on 27th November, an essay by both ambassadors of both nations to Washington protested the looming United States-led Conference for Democracy to establish divisions in the world.
If China or Russia would create a military alliance with any country near the US, they would have to send a large military contingent, otherwise Americans would be bombing the country the next day.
— Sašo Ornik (@ornik_saso) December 4, 2021
Neither China nor Russia appeared on the one hundred and ten invitees list. However, Russia depends on the enormous industrial economy of China for oil and gas exports as environmental rules in the EU muddle energy imports there, according to the statement of a senior fellow at the Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vassily Kashin.
Kashin said two-sided relations were at their best since the 1950s. Most significantly, both countries have a common position concerning the international order. They don’t like the American global demand, so this close partnership is based on shared opposition to the United States-led international order.
Western democracies from the U.S. to Australia and all over Europe strengthened their own relations this year at a time of concern about the policies of China. Western nations indicated opposition to the aggressive language of Beijing on Taiwan, its crackdown on insurgents in Hong Kong, and its policies targeting a Uighur Muslim minority in the Xinjiang region.
Wolf Warrior Diplomacy
Nations, including some Southeast Asia and the West, further dislike the wolf warrior diplomacy of China approach that sees the Communist Party of China become more vocal about advocating its views among abroad audience. According to experts, China has been using foreign relations using increasingly aggressive tactics to insistently defend their home country, usually in the cyber world.
Russia and China in line hope to avert a return to United States-driven soft power of the former U.S. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama presidencies when smaller nations saw the U.S. as more appropriate leaders among influential forces, said associate professor at the Singapore-based S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Alan Chong.
Chong said that Chinese soft power took a hit because of the remarks of Chinese President Xi Jinping that make him effective at home at the expense of friendship and solidarity overseas. China sees American President Joe Biden as a very challenging opponent. This year, western countries called out Beijing specifically over its alleged violence toward Taiwan. Last month, an American official also cautioned Russia about troop expansion near Ukraine.
With the second-strongest military in the world, Russia holds infrequent military exercises with China – five made public – while selling weaponries to its giant neighbor to the south. In October, Russia and China had their tenth annual Maritime Interaction marine drills with the anti-submarine ship of the Russian Pacific Fleet, Admiral Panteleyev, Sputnik reported. People’s Liberation Army Navy of China sent a lot of diesel submarines and destroyers. News service further said that both navies drill together to bolster the fighting capabilities in case of seaborne threats.
Russia and China Space Weather Center
In August, China and Russia held around five days of the military exercise in a remote area of central China, drawing over ten thousand service personnel, armored vehicles, artillery, and aircraft. According to the Chinese state-run China Daily reports, both countries also started operating a space weather center this December in Moscow and Beijing. Similarly, China and Russia decided to extend their twenty-year-old Treaty of Good Neighborliness & Friendly Cooperation in June to solidify relations by respecting the sovereignty and interests of each other.
Furthermore, Andrew Yang said that Russia looks to Beijing to support its aim in seizing parts of Ukraine and a channel to demonstrate Russia can still play a crucial role in Asia in the area. He said that China requires Russian war weapons, support, and energy against Western pressure. In 2015, Russia agreed to sell Chines twenty-four combat jets and four S-400 surface-to-air missile systems for around $7 billion. On the economic end, Beijing became Moscow’s number one trading partner in 2017. Previously, in 2019, President Xi and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, settled on a deal to fuse each other’s efforts to open trade routes by developing infrastructure in other countries.