China-Russia relations

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets Russia's President Vladimir Putin at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Amur Oblast of the Far East Region, Russia, on 13 September 2023. (KCNA via Reuters)

China staying on the sidelines of growing Russia–North Korea ties

Cambodian research fellow Bunly Ek observes that China continues to play a wait-and-see approach on forming a trio with Russia and North Korea. China is well aware that it can achieve its objectives by staying close with each of the countries bilaterally, and a high-profile trio would only put itself in the firing range of the West and its other neighbours.
(front row, left to right) Indonesia's President Joko Widodo, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, China's President Xi Jinping, Kazakhstan's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev with other leaders wave during a group photo at the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on 18 October 2023. (Suo Takekuma/AFP)

Belt and Road Forum: A show of China’s influence

The scale and attendance by world leaders to the two-day third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing is a show of China’s influence in the global diplomatic stage, says Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan. Despite the West’s view that the Belt and Road Initiative is a strategic tool for China to expand its international influence, numerous developing countries are still willing to participate in it given the significant progress overall.
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting at the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China, on 18 October 2023. (Sputnik/Sergei Guneev/Pool via Reuters)

Russia’s reliance on China is growing, but will China benefit?

The outside world predicts that China and Russia are set to demonstrate a “no limits” relationship and join hands to counteract the US and its Western alliance. However, China seems to be gaining dominance in China-Russia relations as Moscow is trying to strengthen its already deep economic, military and energy cooperation with Beijing. Lianhe Zaobao’s China Desk and journalist Miao Zong-Han tell us more.
This pool image distributed by Sputnik agency shows Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un shaking hands during their meeting at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia on 13 September 2023. (Vladimir Smirnov/Pool/AFP)

US's 'axis of evil' narrative could escalate tensions on Korean peninsula

With North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s visit to Russia recently, observers worry that North Korea and Russia, together with China, are drawing closer, forming a greater “axis” of nuclear threat. But academic Jin Kai sees the sense of a greater “alliance” forming as all part of the US and its allies’ “geopolitical imagination”, which could see them taking steps that escalate the situation in the Korean peninsula.
A train leaving Russia and entering China at Manzhouli. (Photo: Jack No1/Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)

Russia 'looks East': Surging logistics and trade flows across China-Russia border

With China-Russia trade leaping many-fold since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, both sides have forged stronger cross-border transport and freight links, says US academic Chen Xiangming. However, this comes with challenges, due to Russia’s historical orientation toward Europe and severely underdeveloped Far Eastern regional and local economies.
US President Joe Biden meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 leaders' summit in Bali, Indonesia, 14 November 2022. (Kevin Lamarque/File Photo/Reuters)

Instead of seeking support from others, Xi and Biden must meet again

The world appears to be getting more fractured and polarised, with the US and its allies meeting at Camp David recently, and the BRICS summit in Johannesburg issuing invitations for admission to six countries. While both the US and China are building their own alliances and partnerships, now more than ever, they need to improve their direct communication with each other, says US academic Zhu Zhiqun.
Russia's Pacific Fleet warships parade off the port city of Vladivostok during the Navy Day celebrations on 30 July 2023. (Pavel Korolyov/AFP)

India, Russia and the Northern Sea Route: Navigating a shifting strategic environment

With China intensifying its interest in the Arctic’s Northern Sea Route, India also looks to subtly increase its cooperation with Russia in the shipping route which can significantly reduce sailing time between Europe and Asia. But India has strategic reasons of its own to do so.
People walk past a monument to Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin and a coat of arms of the Soviet Union in a park in Moscow, Russia, 8 August 2023. (Maxim Shemetov/Reuters)

What US and China can learn from the Sino-Soviet Cold War

The most common analogy for the US-China rivalry is the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union, but Malaysian academic Ngeow Chow Bing thinks that the Sino-Soviet rivalry in the 1960s could also offer a lesson or two for the US and China, especially in staying ideologically flexible and maintaining communication between competing nations.
Lion statues decorate the entrance of China's Yellow River scientific station in Ny-Aalesund, Svalbard, Norway, on 6 April 2023. (Lisi Niesner/Reuters)

China’s polar great power dreams may be put on hold

With climate change and Arctic marine navigation expected to be extended from four months to more than half a year by 2030, Arctic states and self-declared “Near-Arctic State” China are looking to increase their influence in the region. China recently announced it would soon deploy a “polar subglacial shallow surface acoustic monitoring buoy system” and also embarked on its 13th expedition to the Arctic. But several obstacles may stand in the way. Lianhe Zaobao’s China Desk looks at the issue.