Sino –Russian Relations at the Start of the New Millennium in Central Asia and Beyond

Journal Article January, 2014, Journal of Contemporary China

Sino–Russian relations have swayed considerably in the second millennium. During the Yeltsin era, China–Russia relations were still strong, but this changed abruptly after Putin’s accession to the presidency in 2000 and his initial pro-Western adventures. This was, in no small part, due to Russia’s involvement in the war on terror, together with Russia’s complicity in a US military presence in Central Asia which did not go down well in Beijing. Putin’s domestic constituency found his swing into Washington’s fold equally awkward, which created no small amount of criticism in Russia. Convinced that things could not get much worse, Putin’s acceptance of NATO’s expansion into the Baltics, his approval of US withdrawal from the ABM-treaty, and his quiet consent for an American military presence in Georgia raised additional fears in the Duma, within Russian public opinion, and to some extent among the Chinese. This was perceived as a direct surrender to American superiority and aggression, and it would not last for long.

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