Is a Sino-Russia military alliance in the works?

Recent signalling by the two 'frenemies' bears watching as their increasingly close cooperation has strategic implications in both Asia and Europe

A 2017 photo showing People's Liberation Army personnel attending the opening ceremony of China's military base in Djibouti. Africa could become a new area of cooperation between China and Russia, says the writer. The two are also increasingly coordi
A 2017 photo showing People's Liberation Army personnel attending the opening ceremony of China's military base in Djibouti. Africa could become a new area of cooperation between China and Russia, says the writer. The two are also increasingly coordinating their positions in the Middle East.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Will they, or won't they? For many years, the United States and its allies have wondered whether the blossoming friendship between Russia and China will ultimately result in a full alliance between the two.

Some analysts dismiss this Sino-Russian alliance's prospect as just a scarecrow often trotted out by Beijing and Moscow whenever one or both needed to scare the West. Other analysts, however, have taken matters more seriously, arguing that Western governments need to pay attention to the China-Russia tandem.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 31, 2020, with the headline 'Is a Sino-Russia military alliance in the works?'. Subscribe