Sept. 7, 2022
The East Wind Prevails? Russia's Response to China's Eurasian Ambitions
Deference to Chinese aspirations in Eurasia is integral to Moscow’s pursuit of closer relations with Beijing. Yet China’s pursuit of regional, and ultimately global, influence is at odds with Russia’s longstanding ambition to maintain post-Soviet Eurasia as a strategic glacis and sphere of ‘privileged interests’. Russia has consequently sought to shape and channel Chinese engagement in line with its own interests, with mixed results. Disappointments with the effects of Chinese economic and political influence on Russian equities, limits on Sino–Russian coordination, and the interest of Eurasia’s smaller states contributed to a growing wariness on Russia’s part. The 2022 invasion of Ukraine and attendant confrontation with the West have left Russia more dependent on China, even as China itself has become more realistic about the prospects for Eurasian integration.