Are we going to see a Sino-Russian military alliance?

After the visit of the newly appointed Chinese Defense Minister to Russia, it is the turn of the Vice Chairman of the Chinese Armed Forces Commission, Air Force General Xi Qiliang, to meet with the Russian Defense Minister, General Sergei Shoigu. The objective of this meeting is, according to official declarations, tostrengthen ties and military, diplomatic and security cooperation between the two countries.

Many analysts believe that the Sino-Russian rapprochement is a consequence of the intensification of tensions between the two countries and the West, more particularly with the United States. If the proverb says that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, this explanation alone seems limited when it comes to understanding the links that are being built between the two regimes, more than between the two countries.

Because in fact, if the regimes of Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping continue to show signs of convergence, these are not very much reflected in the countries themselves, their economies, and their sociologies. Thus, despite this widely publicized friendship, the first foreign investors in Russia remain European companies, and China is keen to maintain its status as a workshop of the West. Interactions between the two countries are therefore essentially limited to the governmental level: military relations, cooperation on the international scene and the energy market. 

On the other hand, the two regimes have a lot in common, first of all the fierce desire to stay in power, with the visceral fear of Western influences having led, according to them, to the color revolutions or the Arab springs. However, like all authoritarian regimes, the Russian and Chinese authorities operate on a tightrope that is all the more tense as populations are no longer confined behind an impenetrable iron curtain. To maintain control, they must therefore offer social contracts based on the promise of personal enrichment, as was the case with Putin 2, and the Deng Xao Ping era, or exploit the security aspect when the economy slows down. , as has been the case in recent years in Russia, and even in China. However, to justify this security aspect, we still need credible threats that are perceptible to the population... 

And it is in this aspect that the two regimes find their communion, thanks to reciprocal support in the international narrative, making it possible to present a controlled reading of events, and therefore to influence the perception of the threat by the populations.

Furthermore, China and Russia are aware that individually they cannot challenge the United States militarily. On the other hand, jointly, they can gain a certain advantage, in particular by cracking the American network of alliances, wonderfully exploiting Washington's hegemonic tendencies.

However, these factors do not make it possible to create a lasting alliance, in the sense that it is only defined by a common adversary, and not by the increase in links between peoples, as was the case of the Europeans and the Americans. after the Second World War. 

It is interesting to note that, in these conditions, if Europe managed to develop an autonomous defense capacity making the American presence unnecessary, an entire part of this Russian narrative would be reduced to nothing...

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