Report presentation: China-Russia alignment: A threat to Europe’s security

Jul 09, 2024 15:00 - 15:30
Members only

On July 9, 2024 MERICS organised an exclusive online presentation and discussion on a new report released on June 26 on China-Russia relations.

The report was jointly written by experts from Chatham House and German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) and MERICS. They argue that since the start of the war in Ukraine,  China-Russia alignment has evolved from a mere challenge into a complex security threat to Europe and its transatlantic partners. 

Here are some of the key findings by the authors Natalie Sabanadze (Senior Research Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House), Abigaël Vasselier (Director Policy & European Affairs and Head of Program Foreign Relations at MERICS) and Gunnar Wiegand (Visiting Distinguished Fellow at GMF):

  • The new China-Russia alignment is characterized by a strong, flexible political bond but lacks a shared ideology or legal framework. It reflects their mutual use of the political relationship as a tool to achieve their respective objectives and is highly contingent on external factors. 
  • China is providing Russia with an economic lifeline, helping Moscow to circumvent Western sanctions and expand its military-industrial complex with unrestricted exports of critical dual-use goods.
  • China is supporting Russia also with hybrid operations and increased military cooperation, reducing Russia’s diplomatic isolation and promoting Russia’s narrative in the Global South.
  • Attempts to drive a wedge between the two “limitless partners” are likely to be counterproductive. Instead, the key is to change Beijing’s calculus for supporting Moscow.

You can read the report “China-Russia alignment: a threat to Europe’s security” online here or download it as a PDF.

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