A Wary Embrace
This article is more than 6 years old

A Wary Embrace

What the China–Russia relationship means for the world.

On this page

With Western countries consumed by domestic problems, will it be China and Russia that now define the rules of global politics?

In a disorderly world, each has become increasingly assertive, and their partnership has emerged from relative obscurity to acquire a new prominence. Yet appearances are deceptive. Beijing and Moscow have shown no capacity to cooperate on grand strategy or establish new international norms. This is no authoritarian alliance, but a partnership of strategic convenience – pragmatic, calculating and constrained.

A Wary Embrace is available to purchase from all good bookstores ($9.99) and online. An e-book version ($6.99) is also available. The Lowy Institute's Bligh Street headquarters has a limited number of copies available for purchase at our reception.


Prologue - xi

PART I: The Asymmetrical Partnership - 1

Wrestling with history - 3

The balance sheet: Achievements and misfires -17

PART II: Russia, China, and the World - 47

Russia and the world - 49

China and the world - 63

Convergence and divergence - 75

PART III: Myths, Realities, and Implications - 95

Making sense of a complex relationship - 97

PART IV: Outlook - 115

China–Russia relations in the age of Trump - 117

Endnotes - 141

Acknowledgements - 183

Photo: Getty Images/Pool

Areas of expertise: Russian foreign and security policy; Sino-Russian relations