Carnegie Moscow Center’s Dmitri Trenin discussed the changing dynamic of Sino-Russian relations and the release of his new book Post-Imperium: A Eurasian Story on China Radio International during a visit to Beijing.


According to Trenin, Russia must start moving away from its imperial history and toward its future as a nation-state. This means a change for both the international community and for Russian citizens, Trenin explained. For the global community, it is time to come to terms with the end of Russian imperialism. The threat of Russian expansionism is past and should no longer dominate international perspectives on Russia. For Russian citizens, it is important to accept the end of the Russian empire and the beginning of a new history and identity as a nation.

Sino-Russian Relations

A realistic outlook and a greater effort to promote understanding are necessary to preserve stable relations between China and Russia, Trenin stated. While cooperation between the two countries is mutually beneficial, relations should not be exclusively bilateral but rather should strive to include other parties. The policy that results from this cooperation should be modeled as an alternative to Western policy rather than an opposing viewpoint.

Recommendations for Policy Makers

Trenin suggested that it was time for Chinese policy makers to begin working on new development model for the country. In order to ensure further growth, the Chinese economy needs a “vibrant, innovative dimension” and a more mature domestic market, one that can absorb a possible blow to the China market as a result of the Euro crisis and the fall in foreign demand for Chinese goods.

Russian policy makers, Trenin added, should begin to consider itself as a Euro-Pacific country rather than a Eurasian country. He also recommended that Russia find new ways to collaborate with China and both countries should work on improving cross-cultural understanding.