China and Russia Military Cooperation Raises Prospect of New Challenge to American Power


While US officials have long suspected a unified threat from both countries, some are now changing their tune. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence reported that Beijing and Moscow are now more aligned than at any time in the past 60 years.

“They are separate threats. But they are now intertwined because of cooperation,” said Michael Kaufman, a Russian military expert at CNA, a nonprofit research and analysis group in Arlington, Va.

Biden administration officials say they are watching closely, but caution against reading too much into actions unlikely to flourish into a full military alliance.

China and Russia, sharing a 2,500-mile border, have competing interests in Central Asia, India and the Arctic that prevent a perfect alignment. And unlike the countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, defense systems in China and Russia are not widely compatible, limiting the effectiveness of joint commands.

According to analysts and US officials, US moves to engage the two countries have propelled them into a marriage of convenience, providing previously controversial adversaries with marshal resources and intelligence against a common adversary. According to analysts, China and Russia are keen to control US influence as well as its military and financial power, which they believe is more likely if they work together.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in June that relations between China and Russia are poised to reach a “larger scale, a wider area and a deeper level”. Mr Putin said relations with China are at a historic level.


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