Beyond the Nominal and the Ad Hoc: The Substance and Drivers of China-Russia Military Cooperation
January 1, 2018
Post-Cold War China-Russia relations have always been a matter of debate. Since the end of the Cold War, the China-Russia strategic cooperation has progressed consistently, showing immunity to exogenous shocks. This paper explores the international-systemic incentives for the China-Russia alignment and examines the actual mechanisms of the China-Russia military cooperation to identify the foundations for a military alliance. The paper argues that China-Russia relations are “on the verge of an alliance,” meaning that a strong basis for an alliance is in place, and only minor steps are needed for a fully-fledged alliance to materialize; the occurrence of such steps is still an open question.