By Jacob L. Shapiro
Summary The idea that Russia and China are going to become close allies fails to account for the constraints and geopolitical imperatives of both countries. Neither can be content in a situation where the U.S. has untrammeled power in the world. But that does not change the geography that makes the interests of Beijing and Moscow so different. In this case, the enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend.
The United States is the world’s dominant power, and is without peer. But Russia and China are arguably the next two most significant world powers on the list. Russia’s economy may be in shambles, and it is in the process of updating its military and rearming for 21st century conflict – but even so, Moscow boasts a formidable arsenal of nuclear weapons and just demonstrated in Syria how effective a limited deployment of Russian troops can be. China now has the second largest GDP in the world, and convulsions in the Chinese economy have global ramific