While Russia repositions itself as a stand-alone power in the north-central portion of the world’s largest continent, its leaders are seeking to create a distinct national entity amid a vast and highly diverse neighborhood.
It is not enough for China and Russia to work to reduce US dominance in “the grand Eurasian chessboard.” They have to work on a new continental order that other countries, not just the two of them, would find an improvement over the current situation.
Carnegie Moscow Center hosted an open discussion on major power relationships in the Asia-Pacific region with John McCarthy, former Australian ambassador to Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, and India.
The window of opportunity for improving Russo-Japanese relations is still open, at least for now. Russia’s main objectives are to attract Japanese investment into its national economic development programs and to continue to diversify its policies in the Asia-Pacific and on the international stage, where Japan plays an important and increasingly independent role.
Sino-Russian relations do not constitute a new axis of like-minded authoritarian regimes that want to challenge the West by default. But it’s an example of how tactical and opportunistic cooperation of non-Western powers seeking to boost their influence on the international stage comes at expense of the Western-led international order.
The more realistic option would be increased information sharing between Moscow and Beijing on THAAD and the US military presence in Northeast Asia, as well as joint exercises like the one held in May 2016.
Carnegie Moscow Center hosted a seminar on pressing security challenges in Northeast Asia, including the recent developments on the Korean Peninsula and possible strategies for Japan and Russia to address these issues.
If explained in details and promoted by the Russian and Bangladeshi authorities, solutions about water supply, spent nuclear fuel, and security could end some concerns and fears about the Rooppur NPP and help create a friendly environment around this project.
Rather than forging an alliance against the third corner of the triangle, China and Russia should join forces in building a new regional system at the time when the global order is in transition.