Ian Bremmer has a good article about the limited prospects for Russian-Chinese cooperation.

The Great Powers are looking at Central Asia and the Pacific as the economic center of gravity. There are new exploratory alliances starting – The Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Quad Initiative. Basically, the Quad controls the Pacific and the SCO controls Central Asia. Yet this has not hardened into a bipolar rivalry like the old NATO-Warsaw Pact standoff.

Both alliances have common interests in protecting trade and suppressing Islamist insurgencies throughout the region. Over the long term, there are more potential conflicts. The Russians and Chinese may not be able to continue cooperation for much longer.

There is also considerable interaction between the states. China wants to trade very little with Russia – most of Chinese trade is going to the US, EU, and India. Likewise, India maintains ties with everyone and it buys cheap Russian military equipment. Economic interdependence doesn’t ensure peace but it helps keep tension in perspective.

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