Preface ix Party (CCP) maintained the requirement for a more collective leadership and the obligatory rotation of political elites. After Xi Jinping became the country’s paramount leader, however, the PRC became even more authoritarian. In 2018, the CCP National Party Congress abolished the two-term limit (i.e., two peri- ods of five years) on presidential terms, while Xi has assumed a cult of person- ality, and Chinese censorship, drawing on technological advances, has become more severe. Xi is scheduled to remain China’s unelected president until 2022, while Putin’s presidency extends until 2024, but both presidents seem able to extend their limits indefinitely. Along with other members of governing elites in both Moscow and Beijing, the presidents display resolute ideological oppo- sition to Western values. They view U.S. professions of promoting democracy and human rights as a conceptual guise to subvert their regimes and those of their allies while advancing U.S. commercial and strategic interests. They vehe- mently insist that the United States and other foreign governments should respect traditional interpretations of state sovereignty, territorial integrity, and national autonomy—which includes nonintervention in their internal affairs. At the same time, both regimes violate these principles in their foreign policies while employing nationalism and anti-Americanism to rally domestic support behind their policies. They emphatically oppose U.S. interference in their per- ceived regional spheres of influence, especially Washington’s siding with their neighbors in their disputes with Beijing and Moscow. The second section of this book details several major geographic regions of trilateral interaction. In the Arctic, Beijing has scaled back its previously expansive status and resource claims, which aroused unease in Moscow, to facilitate Sino-Russian collaboration on joint energy extraction and other commercial projects. In East Asia, the two countries have aligned their policies regarding the Korean Peninsula, to include launching joint peace plans nei- ther country wants near-term regime change in Pyongyang even as they pro- mote peace and nonproliferation. In contrast, Russian-Chinese coordination has remained minimal regarding Japan and South Asia. Though China has gingerly increased its economic and political influence in the adjacent region of Central Asia, PRC officials have taken care not to overtly challenge Rus- sian security interests in the region’s group of former Soviet republics, which still purchase primarily Russian weapons. For decades, South Asia had been a region central to Sino-Soviet rivalry. Following independence from the United Kingdom, India became a de facto Soviet ally, buying enormous quantities of weapons from the Soviet Union and aligning with Moscow against Beijing. Meanwhile, Pakistan became the PRC’s closest foreign ally, receiving privileged access to Chinese defense and even nuclear technology. Since the Cold War, however, New Delhi has improved relations with Washington, while Islam- abad has largely reconciled with Moscow. The Middle East, Africa, and South America present a more mixed picture. Moscow and Beijing have no open
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