An opportunistic Russia in the Middle East, a view from China

Cambridge Review of International Affairs

“As Sino-American competition and Russo-American tensions continue to rise, many believe that China and Russia have established an increasingly well-coordinated division of labour to undermine the United States. Yet, this discussion has long neglected the analysis of Sino-Russian relations in the Middle East despite the importance of that region. Hence, this article investigates how Russian actions there are perceived in China through the analysis of the debate among Chinese foreign policy experts. Russia is seen as an opportunistic actor whose behaviour is only partially consistent with Chinese interests.

However, problems related to China’s own Middle East policy and the pressure caused by the rivalry with the United States in Asia greatly limit China’s capability to adopt a more assertive approach. These findings prompt important considerations about the dynamics of the triangular Sino-Russian-American relations. They also help us to understand Chinese foreign policy and the evolution of world politics better.”

Andrea Ghiselli (T.wai & Fudan University) is author of the article “An opportunistic Russia in the Middle East, a view from China” published in the Cambridge Review of International Affairs.

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