Preface This volume examines the unprecedented alignment between the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) that has developed in recent years. It analyzes the main drivers of the Sino-Russian relationship—its sources, nuances, and manifestations in detail—and assesses its consequences, especially for the United States. Over the past three decades, Moscow and Bei- jing have moved increasingly close in critical security, economic, and regional areas. They have pursued harmonious regional policies toward the Korean Peninsula, Central Asia, and the Middle East while better institutionalizing and integrating their security ties. China has become Russia’s leading national trade partner, gateway to other Asian markets, and an important energy importer. The leaders of both countries have engaged in numerous high-level exchanges, made many mutually supportive statements, and manifested other dimensions of their developing strategic partnership. Both regimes view their improved ties as a tremendous success that they must sustain. Their noncon- frontational relationship benefits both countries. Russian leaders can focus on advancing their interests in the former Soviet republics, Europe, and the Mid- dle East, while Beijing can pursue primacy in the Indo-Pacific region. Shared opposition to the United States and its values partly explains their tightening ties. As a result, Moscow and Beijing have adopted coordinated as well as sepa- rate policies to counter U.S. power and influence. The Sino-Russian relationship has moved considerably closer than many expected in recent years. Scholars have traditionally downplayed the poten- tial for an enduring and comprehensive Russia-China alignment against the United States. Many analysts have argued that Sino-Russian cooperation is constrained by the two countries’ interest in sustaining favorable ties with the United States and the relatively benign nature of U.S. hegemony, which
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