Lowy Institute Papers | 03 April 2017

A Wary Embrace

What the China–Russia relationship means for the world.

  • Bobo Lo

What the China–Russia relationship means for the world.

  • Bobo Lo

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