Mongolia makes the most of the middle position

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and their Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Heads of State Summit in Tajikistan, September 2014. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Anthony Rinna, Sino-NK

On 14 April 2016 the foreign ministers of Mongolia and Russia signed what they termed a Medium-term Strategic Partnership Development Program in Ulaanbaatar. Plans to establish a strategic partnership between Mongolia and Russia date at least to September 2014, when the presidents of the two countries met in the Mongolian capital. Read more…

Two years after Crimea, are Japan–Ukraine ties weakening?

Author: Anthony V. Rinna, Sino-NK

Times of crisis are a chance to discover who your true friends are. Ukraine learned this lesson two years ago. While it was largely Euro–Atlantic nations that spoke out against Russia’s actions in Crimea, Ukraine also found a supporter in Japan. Read more…

Is Sinocentrism putting Russia’s interests at risk?

Chinese President Xi Jinping at a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow during his visit to Russia in Marich 2013 —  first foreign destination after taking office. His talks with the Russian leadership included discussions on energy supplies. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Natasha Kuhrt, King’s College

Much has been made of Russia’s ‘sudden’ pivot to the Asia Pacific, but is it all much ado about nothing? In the context of the US rebalance to Asia and heightened rhetoric over Ukraine, the policy is not so much a pivot to the Asia Pacific as intensifying Sinocentrism in Russia’s Asia policy. Read more…

Warming Sino–Russian ties leave Japan in the cold


Authors: Andrei I. Kozinets, Far Eastern Federal University, and James D.J. Brown, Temple University

Russia has recently raised the priority given to East Asia in its foreign policy. This trend has further accelerated following the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis in 2014. But how is the policy progressing and what is its impact on Russia’s relations with China and Japan? Read more…

Why the West is wrong about Beijing and Kiev

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russia's President Vladimir Putin walk together after the gala marking the 70th Anniversary of the Victory of Chinese People's Resistance against Japanese Aggression in Beijing on 3 September 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Duan Xiaolin, NUS

The impact of the Ukraine crisis on the geopolitical order in Europe and beyond is clear. Although China is not directly involved, many Western observers believe that it is the biggest winner from the crisis. The argument is that Western sanctions mean Russia will move closer to China while the United States has to shift its attention back to Europe, thus moderating its rebalancing efforts to counter a rising China. Ultimately, the argument goes, this creates a new strategic opportunity for Beijing. Read more…

Time to tap Russia and China on North Korean denuclearisation

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un inspects a newly-built housing complex in Pyongyang in October 2014. China and Russia should pressure the North Korean regime on its nuclear program. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Akanksha Sharma, RSIS

Diplomatic engagements between North Korea and Russia have raised the prospect that denuclearisation talks between the Pyongyang regime and the international community will resume. Russian envoy Grigory Logvinov pronounced in June 2015 that Moscow would not support any ‘behind the back’ agreement regarding North Korea’s nuclear program, but it could still play a significant role in getting Pyongyang to address the issue on a bilateral basis. Read more…

Disparities limit the scope for a Sino–Russian strategic accord

Power bloc at the Beijing APEC summit in November 2014: Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping in discussion, left while Peng Liyuan, wife of President Xi, engages Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. (Photo: AAP).

Authors: Tom Lairson, Rollins College and Ilan Alon, University of Agder

Does the geopolitical relationship between China and Russia portend a major shift in global relations? Many observers focus on the similarities in these nations as the basis for expectations of a deepening relationship. But, despite some commonalities, Russia and China are unlikely to develop more than a tactical and limited relationship. Read more…