August 04, 2020

Navigating Sino-Russian Defense Cooperation

By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, David Shullman and Dan McCormick

In recent weeks, U.S.-Chinese relations have deteriorated to arguably their worst point in nearly four decades. The Trump administration has outlined a hardline stance against China as the country’s authoritarian leaders adopt increasingly aggressive and repressive policies at home and abroad. While this growing confrontation between the world’s two largest economies has garnered headlines of late, Washington is also concerned about the prospects of further Russian interference in the upcoming U.S. election, and reports of Russian-paid bounties for the killing of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Cooperation between China and Russia has grown. The alignment of their interests and convergence of their efforts is amplifying the challenge they pose to the United States.

Regardless of who wins the election in November, the United States seems likely to be locked into a prolonged period of competition with both Russia and China. If anything, the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the salience of that competition, especially with Beijing. Numerous studies have addressed this great-power competition and identified principles and approaches that the United States should pursue to maintain its competitive edge. Central to almost all strategies is the recognition that the United States will need to work with allies and partners to pool the collective heft of like-minded states to push back against authoritarian regimes and prevent them from dominating key regions of the world.

Read the full article from War on the Rocks.

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