DIIS Reports, Danish Institute for International Studies 2015:07
China and Russia have both recently contributed to raising international tensions as Russia has adopted a much more hostile position towards the West and as China appears to be getting more assertive in its ongoing maritime disputes with its neighbours. At the same time Russia and China appear to be moving towards a full partnership with each other. The question that necessarily will have to be asked is, therefore, whether China and Russia will form an alliance against the United States? Through conceptualising "partnership" in world politics, this report suggests a "threat-interest model of partnership" to examine the evolution of Sino-Russian relations after the Cold War. It argues that despite the ideological, material and strategic differences between the two nations, the convergence of threat perceptions regarding the United States has pushed China and Russia to form a "soft alliance" against the United States. The future of Sino-Russian relations still largely depends on the policies of the United States and Europe towards China and Russia. It is time for the United States and Europe to consider resetting their relations with China and Russia before it is too late.