The views of Chinese and Russian experts on the Russia-China military alliance

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: PhD Candidate
Affiliation: Lomonosov Moscow State University
Address: 1, Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation
Journal nameProblemy Dalnego Vostoka
EditionIssue 2

As the Sino-Russian military partnership deepens, scholars from both sides have had various discussions on whether a military alliance would be formed. Most scholars believe that maintaining a partnership is the best option for both countries at present, whether out of their actual needs or national interest. However, scholars from both sides have disagreed slightly on the core issue and details.

On the Chinese side, most scholars had not discussed the possibility of establishing a military alliance until 2012, they had usually confirmed that the Chinese government is firmly committed to the non-alliance policy. Between 2012 and 2014, there was a great discussion about possibility of establishing a military alliance. Some scholars explore the preference for a non-alliance policy from the interest, theoretical and purely safety perspectives, while others illustrate the benefits of a Sino-Russian alliance through different angles, such as conflicts, external factors, relations with the US and the handling of international affairs. However, when Chinese President Xi Jinping pointed out in a speech in 2015 that the two countries “should be partners and not allies”, Chinese scholars again placed non-alliance at the core of Sino-Russian relations. While Russian scholars are also inclined towards the non-alliance theory, there is another argument: Sino-Russian alliance could be a possible option.


This conclusion is mainly based on the two countries’ different understanding on foreign policy and alliance formation. China have always adhered to an independent, stable and sustained foreign policy, maintaining partnerships with all countries but forming alliances with none. While also adopting an independent and practical foreign policy, Russia has alliances, and is more familiar with them. China and Russian have formed three alliances throughout their diplomatic history, all of which had failed and obstructed the long-term cooperation and development of the two nations. Based on the research and opinions of Chinese and Russia scholars, the best option remains a non-alliance.

KeywordsChina, Russia, military cooperation, military alliance, national interest, independent foreign policy, non-alignment policy, pragmatic foreign policy
Publication date19.04.2022
Number of characters31942
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