Sino-Russia Strategic Alignment and Potential Impact of a Trump Presidency
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Rarely has any issue been more polarising than the assessment of Sino-Russia relations in recent years. Analysts and observers are either convinced of another emerging Sino-Russia alliance against the West, or dismissive of any meaningful, sustainable strategic relationship between the two while citing their ‘peril of proximity’, painful historical record and the strategic distrust. Neither description accurately reflects the nature of Sino-Russia relations under the Xi Jinping administration in China. In the past three years, China and Russia have forged new foundations for a third option- a strategic alignment primarily based upon a shared sense of vulnerability and threat perceptions regarding their external environment. This is largely the result of the heightened confrontation both China and Russia have encountered vis-à-vis the United States due to their assertive foreign policy in the Western Pacific and in East Europe, (especially in Ukraine), respectively. Furthermore, the personality and preferences of the Chinese top leader and the general public have also played an important role in constructing the strategic alignment as well.