Nearly three decades ago, I traveled as a reporter with a delegation from the Soviet Union seeking trade and assistance from China.
Sun Yun, senior associate at the Washington-based Stimson Center and a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institution, notes that Western assessments of the relationship tend to reflect one of two extreme views:
The first view holds that Beijing and Moscow have formed an alliance that aims to overturn the existing international order.
The second maintains that the two countries are experiencing “a temporary meeting of minds” that can be dismissed as of little lasting consequence.
In Sun’s view, the current relationship can best be understood as “a genuine convergence of national interests despite powerful centrifugal forces.”
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