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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2022

Russia-China Relations

Emerging Alliance or Eternal Rivals?

  • Provides an up-to-date assessment of strategic cooperation fields between China and Russia

  • Examines the potential military-strategic impact of a Russian-Chinese alliance for NATO

  • Condenses expertise on technical, military, economic and political aspects of Chinese-Russian cooperation

  • This is an open access book

Part of the book series: Global Power Shift (GLOBAL)

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (16 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxi
  2. Introduction: Analyzing the Shifts in Sino-Russian Strategic Cooperation Since 2014

    • Sarah Kirchberger, Svenja Sinjen, Nils Wörmer
    Pages 1-13Open Access
  3. Mutual Perceptions and Narratives

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 15-15
  4. The Military Dimension of Sino-Russian Cooperation: Case Studies

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 73-73
    2. Russia-China Naval Partnership and Its Significance

      • Alexandre Sheldon-Duplaix
      Pages 101-120Open Access
    3. Chinese and Russian Military Modernization and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

      • Richard A. Bitzinger, Michael Raska
      Pages 121-140Open Access
    4. China-Russia Cooperation in Nuclear Deterrence

      • Brian G. Carlson
      Pages 141-161Open Access
  5. Spatial and Multilateral Aspects of Sino-Russian Cooperation: Case Studies

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 163-163
  6. The Way Forward: How Could the West Cope with Russia and China?

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 243-243
    2. What a Military Alliance Between Russia and China Would Mean for NATO

      • Rainer Meyer zum Felde
      Pages 245-266Open Access
    3. Options for Dealing with Russia and China: A US Perspective

      • Andrew A. Michta
      Pages 267-276Open Access
    4. The Way Forward: How Should Europe Deal with Russia and China?

      • Joachim Krause
      Pages 277-292Open Access

About this book

This open access book examines Russia-China relations across a variety of civilian and military areas of cooperation. Leading experts in the field present empirical case studies covering a wide range of strategic cooperation areas between Russia and China, such as technological, military, economic and political cooperation. The contributing authors shed new light on Chinese and Russian strategic goals, external push and pull factors, and mutual perception shifts, and discuss the options for Western countries to influence this development.

This book analyses the evolution of the relationship since the watershed moment of the Crimean crisis in 2014, and whether or not a full-blown military alliance, as hinted in late 2020 by President Putin, is indeed a realistic scenario for which NATO will have to prepare. It will appeal to students and scholars of international relations, political decision-makers, as well as anyone interested in Eurasian politics and the potential military-strategic impact of a Russian-Chinese alliance for NATO.


  • Open Access book
  • Russia-China military cooperation
  • International Security
  • Technological aspects of China-Russia cooperation
  • Arms trade between China and Russia
  • Chinese and Russian strategic goals and perceptions
  • NATO views of the China-Russia relationship
  • Sino-Russian Cooperation
  • Sino-Russian Scientific Cooperation

Editors and Affiliations

  • Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University (ISPK), Kiel, Germany

    Sarah Kirchberger

  • Foundation for Science & Democracy (SWuD), Kiel, Germany

    Svenja Sinjen

  • Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Berlin, Germany

    Nils Wörmer

About the editors

Sarah Kirchberger is Head of Asia-Pacific Strategy & Security at the Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University (ISPK), a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, and Vice President of the German Maritime Institute (DMI). She was previously an Assistant Professor of Sinology at Hamburg University and a naval analyst with the shipbuilder TKMS.

Svenja Sinjen is Head of Science Communication at the Foundation for Science and Democracy (SWuD), Germany, and an editor at the journal SIRIUS. In addition, she leads SWuD's Project „Global Transformation & German Foreign Policy“. Previously, she was Head of the Program ‚Future Forum Berlin‘ at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP).

Nils Wörmer is Head of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung’s International Politics and Security Affairs Department (KAS), Germany. He was previously in charge of the foundation’s Syria and Iraq office, which was established under his management in 2015. From 2013 to 2015, Nils Wörmer led the Afghanistan program of KAS in Kabul.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)