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Mutually Beneficial Exchange: Think Tank Examines China’s Access to Russian Weaponry


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As Russia’s economic ties with China grow stronger following the Ukraine conflict, speculations have emerged about Russia’s potential subservience to Beijing. However, according to an analyst, the relationship between the two countries is characterized by shared interests and strategic cooperation rather than one-sided dominance. This article delves into the dynamics of the Russia-China relationship, dispelling notions of vassal dependency and highlighting the strategic advantages gained by both parties.


Solid Foundation for Equal Cooperation:

Mikhail Korostikov, writing for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, emphasizes that despite imperfections, the leadership of both Russia and China shares common interests and strategic motivations amid Western confrontations.

This foundation lays the groundwork for a reasonably balanced cooperation between the two nations. While China may have an opportunity to exert influence over Russia, it lacks compelling reasons to do so.


Comparative Trade Relations:


Contrary to claims of Russia’s vassal dependency, trade between China and Russia is comparable to China’s trade with other nations, notes Korostikov.

Although China’s share of Russian trade has increased significantly since the Ukraine conflict, it remains lower than its share of trade with countries like Australia. China is the top trading partner for approximately 120 countries, many of which are more reliant on Beijing than Russia.


Continuity in the Relationship:

Korostikov highlights that the Russia-China relationship continues to follow similar rules as before the Ukraine conflict. There is no inherent motive for China to subjugate Moscow. Both countries benefit from market openness, and any attempts by China to pressure Russia would likely face strong pushback from the Kremlin’s leadership.


Gaining Leverage:

The Ukraine conflict has undoubtedly strengthened China’s position in its relations with Russia, but the Kremlin has also acquired its own leverage. Moscow provides Beijing with crucial information on handling sanctions and combatting Western weaponry, which China cannot obtain elsewhere.

Collaborating with Russia allows China to gain valuable insights into the impact of sanctions on the economy, circumvention strategies, financial system behavior, and effective safeguards.


Mutually Beneficial Exchange:

China’s possession of a significant amount of Russian weaponry allows Beijing to learn from Moscow’s experiences in Ukraine. This knowledge is particularly valuable to China in preparing for potential conflicts involving Western weapons. By leveraging the established military cooperation, China gains access to this information without incurring significant costs.



The Russia-China relationship is built on shared interests, strategic cooperation, and market dynamics. Assertions of vassal dependency fail to capture the balanced nature of the partnership.

Both countries stand to benefit from the exchange of knowledge and resources. As they navigate complex geopolitical challenges, the Russia-China relationship serves as a valuable platform for mutual understanding and collaboration.


News Desk, where most of the News Item edit for THE THINK TANK JOURNAL

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