China and Russia are two major countries in the world. They like any major country will have a great influence on the world stage, In fact, the quality of the relationship between major powers will not only affect the development of the two countries, but also impact the interaction between them and with other countries. China and Russia are close neighbors with a long historical relationship. Both countries have their histories and influential positions in the world. Of course, they will also have a considerable influence on the future development of our world. Our world has gone through the Second World War, the Cold War for more than 40 years, and the brewing of a new Cold War, making the relationship between the U.S., China and Russia complicated. The U.S. has become the world's number one power since the end of Cold War (1991), and is accustomed to hegemonic behavior in handling international affairs and diplomatic relations on the international stage. On the one hand, it continues to suppress Russia after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, and on the other hand, it blocks and prevents China's rise. This has brought about changes in Sino-Russian relations. This article discusses this issue and analyzes why China and Russia must seek the opportunity to develop a long-term and fair strategic relationship to prevent wars and maintain world peace and prosperity.
From the perspective of geographical relationship, China and Russia are similar to the U.S. and Canada. Russia and Canada are in the north, and China and the U.S. are in the south. The U.S.-Canada border is about 8,890-9,256 kilometers from east to west, making it the longest border in the world. The Sino-Russian border is only about 4,300 kilometers in East Asia. However, since China ceded Outer Mongolia and recognized its independence, it became the buffer zone between China and Russia forming a buffer border of more than 4,000 kilometers. In addition, in West Asia, there is also Sino-Russian buffer zone such as Kazakhstan (the border between Russia and Kazakhstan is the longest continuous land border in the world, 6818 kilometers). Therefore, historically, the Sino-Russian border has changed much more due to wars than that between the U.S. and Canada. The independence and expansion of the U.S. extended from east to west (Atlantic to Pacific Ocean) and to the south by obtaining a large area of land from Mexico, and to the north by annexing Missouri. Thus, the border between the U.S. and Canada has stretched more than 9,000 kilometers. The similarity between the U.S. and Russia is that they are both expansion powers. After the WW II, they confronted each other with an ideological fight, democracy versus communism. Although the U.S. won the Cold War, it did not want to see the rise of China, so it changed its strategy to target Russia and China at the same time. Naturally, this U.S. strategy is compelling Russia and China to consider forming an united front to deal with the U.S.
Currently, the U.S. continues to lead the NATO military alliance. NATO was established after WW II (1949) against the Soviet Union. Later, opposing West Germany's participation in NATO, the Soviet Union organized the Warsaw Pact (1955) to confront NATO. Warsaw Pact ended in 1991 with the end of the Cold War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, but NATO did not disband. Instead, it increased from twelve members in 1949 to 16 in 1985 and then increased to today's thirty-one member states by accepting Warsaw's disbanded states and other European countries (including Finland joined in April this year, and Sweden yet to be agreed by all members). Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty states that the attack on any member state is equal to the attack on all member states. This article, invoked after the U.S. was attacked by terrorist groups in 2001, is the main reason many small European countries seek protection from NATO, but when a war-prone country joins NATO, it can turn NATO from a defense organization into an attack organization. Currently, Ukraine and Russia are in conflict, yet the U.S. encourages Ukraine to apply to join NATO, which may lead to a war between NATO and Russia. The fact that the U.S. tries to use NATO to confront Russia and China is revealed by the U.S. action of mobilizing NATO to support Ukraine in the Ukraine-Russia war and prompting NATO to expand into Asia to target China. This is an important reason why China and Russia must consider strengthening their strategic cooperation.
In history, China was invaded by Russia. China had ceded land to Russia. During the US-Russia struggle in the Cold War, China sided with the U.S. in sanctioning Russia for protecting its own economic interests. Although China hopes to remain neutral and not form factions, the hegemony policy of the U.S. does not allow China to rise, even peacefully. Hence, the U.S. adopts a strategy of crushing Russia and China at the same time. Relying on its many military alliances, including NATO, it fantasizes that it can destroy China and Russia altogether. This notion may be credible if the following two conditions are fulfilled. One is that the allies of the U.S. strongly unite and support the U.S., and the other is that China and Russia do not cooperate to resist the common foe, the U.S. The U.S. alliances include: 1. First island chain blocking China (South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, and using the Taiwan regime), 2. Quad alliance (US, Japan, India and Australia), 3. AUKUS (US, Britain, Australia) and 4. NATO’s entry into Asia (US led NATO plus Japan and South Korea). If the second condition was met, it would be a tough and continuous struggle for China and Russia to fight the U.S. and her allies separately. In addition to resisting the economic, technological and financial sanctions orchestrated by the U.S., they must also deal with the military pressure from the U.S. and its allies. However, if China could grasp the situation of China and Russia dealing with their common enemy together and carefully develop a long-term and fair strategic relationship between the two countries, it will not be difficult to win the battle against the US alliance.
The recent Sino-Russian joint Air Force-Navy military exercises in the Sea of Japan and the Haisenguai port are actual actions to demonstrate the opposite of the second condition, a possible long-term strategic relationship between China and Russia being nurtured. South Korea, Japan, and the Philippines have no choice but to act cautiously in responding to the US anti-China/Russia drive. When China and Russia join forces,their joint submarine power would outweigh that of the Quad and AUKUS Alliances. There was no logical basis for NATO to come to Asia to threaten China. The security concerns of European countries should not involve China at all on geographical consideration. If China and Russia had a explicit strategic relationship, there would be no reason for European countries to target China and provoke Russia giving it any excuse to bully Europe. France has long been dissatisfied with the hegemonic behavior of the U.S., and also understands the rise of China, as Napoleon said, China is a sleeping lion. Now it is awake, so Macron does not support NATO’s entry into Asia. If China and Russia cooperate in space exploration, the progress will be faster, which will also prompt Europe, Asia, America and Africa to accept the reality of a multi-polar and win-win world. But the opportunity for China and Russia to develop a long-term strategic relationship is now, a chance may not occur again. There are two reasons. One is that the current leaders of China and Russia, fortunately, have great insight on the world situation, also they have a rare confidence in each other. The other reason coincides with the fact that the current leader of the U.S. and the leaders to be elected in the next few years are deeply influenced by US hegemony theory and infected by the bi-partisan bigotry between the two American parties. The blind pursuit of America First and the continued practice of hegemony policy (which is more and more not tolerable by the world) by these leaders are taking the U.S. to ever weaker international position. Therefore, at this moment, China and Russia should seize the opportunity to establish their long-term and fair strategic relationship, and cultivate a friendly and cooperative strategic partnership in all aspects from civil contacts, government relations, academic communities, industries, and military circles. Only in this way can we create an eternal peaceful and prosperous world for mankind!