Does increasing co-operation between Russia and China constitute a challenge to the West? In the recent piece for The Diplomat, I argue that
closer ties between Russia and China do not mean that the two constitute a common challenge to the West. Russia and China have different takes on international politics. The Chinese Communist Party needs a conducive external environment in order to continue selling its whole range of goods (from low- to high-end, such as high-speed trains), exporting the overcapacity of its industry, and offering loans from its overflowing coffers of U.S. dollars. Moscow has shown itself able to thrive on insecurity and instability – although it ultimately threatens Russia itself, the current “new world disorder” is regarded by the masters of the Kremlin as the West’s problem rather than its own. Consequently, Moscow and Beijing aspire to change the existing international order in different directions. China needs another wave of globalization; the New Silk Road concept’s ultimate goal is to secure this. The One Belt, One Road is a Chinese version of the late-19th century American open door policy, one that aims to prevent other states from locking themselves up in forms of regional economic integration. Russia acts to the contrary, striving to build a fence around its post-Soviet peripheries and isolating it from the outside world. The U.S. and Europe face two challenges of different natures that need to be tackled simultaneously.You can read the whole piece here: Russia-China: The West’s Dual Challenge.