10 The New China-Russia Alignment frameworks, on the Asian mainland that Russian experts believe will fortify Russia’s influence in East Asia and revitalize the Russian Far East’s connec- tions with the rest of Russia.20 Russian leaders hope to harness China’s rise to advance the two countries’ shared interests. Russian officials would welcome greater Chinese investment to help modernize the Russian economy. The cur- rent Kremlin leadership is unenthusiastic about political reform as a means of imparting greater dynamism to the Russian economy. They appreciate how the PRC has been able to combine an authoritarian political system with a vigorous economy. Throughout his years in power, but especially in the last decade, Putin has made developing strong relations with the PRC a foreign policy priority. Russians describe their alignment with China as both com- prehensive and enduring. In January 2017, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov observed, “Our relations with China . . . are rich, trusting, friendly and effective like never before with regard to bilateral cooperation in all areas and our coop- eration and coordination of steps in the international arena. I do not think that prospects for the development of relations with any country in the world should call into question Russian-Chinese strategic partnership and multilat- eral cooperation.”21 At his December 2017 news conference, Putin observed “that there is a nationwide consensus in Russia concerning the development of relations with China. . . . Russia and China will remain strategic partners for the long-term historical perspective.”22 In an October 2019 presentation to the Valdai International Discussion Club, Putin said that the Sino-Russian connection had become “an allied relationship in the full sense of a multifac- eted strategic partnership.”23 Though numerous factors account for better Sino-Russian relations, one of the drivers has been the two governments’ similar foreign-policy out- look and shared opposition to many U.S. policies. In October 2021, presiden- tial spokesperson Dmitry Peskov acknowledged, “There is quite a common ground between Moscow and Beijing in terms of what we dislike in Wash- ington’s politics.”24 Russia and China are now the most influential revisionist powers seeking to alter the U.S.-designed economic and security structures established after World War II, which they perceive as failing to adequately rec- ognize their status or ensure their security and other national interests. Neither Russia nor China is content with the existing U.S.-led global order rooted in liberal internationalist principles, norms, and institutions. They dismiss U.S. claims to stewardship in upholding benign principles of international behav- ior as hypocritically deceptive professions to obscure how Washington pur- sues U.S. interests under the guise of defending universal values. They further denounce U.S.-led military alliances as anachronistic legacies of the Cold War and reflections of an outdated “bloc” mentality of containing Moscow and Beijing. Maintaining traditional interpretations of international law uphold- ing national sovereignty, dispersing power away from the United States, and
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