President Barack Obama has spent his two terms in office working to build closer ties with China while seeking to isolate and punish Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
Eight years later, Moscow is subject to painful US sanctions and continued public criticism from Obama and his aides. Beijing is a key economic partner that has at times served as a conduit to the rogue regime in North Korea.
To a large extent, that’s because the two countries have acted fairly differently in recent years. Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine, 2015 bombing campaign in Syria, and 2016 hack of the US election convinced the administration that Russia was a threat to the international order — a power unwilling to play by the rules. Despite its aggressive moves in the East and South China Seas, Beijing has been far less confrontational, and far more willing to negotiate with the West in good faith on long-range issues like climate change.
Read the full article at Vox.