Russia under Vladimir Putin is expanding military assertiveness and political influence to challenge US led NATO world order.On the other hand Russia even though cautiously expanding ties with China,keeps an eye on China’s past record.
Aware of the fact that both the countries desire to attain second super power status and are thus found competing with each other in so many regions and policies .But they both also present a joint challenge to the US super power status.For their international expansion, China and Russia are now linked with Highway bridge across the Heilongjiang river . After 28 years of talks , construction has finally started to construct 1,283 meters bridge that links Heihe to the Russian city of Blagoveshchensk which is a part of China-Mongolia-Russia economic corridor to provide boost to economic activities both in cargo and passenger traffic.
Moscow and Beijing have their own strategies and policies for the expansion of their international interests.China is economically stronger with surplus trade with US while Russia is somewhat isolated and is under US and EU sanctions after the Crimean annexation. Russia is one of the 5 highest recipients of Chinese investment with regional and Chinese belt and Road initiative connecting Asia and Europe.
China has acquired dominating position with its maritime military bases in Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka, Balochistan , Burma (known as string of pearls) further with connecting Middle East and Europe. Under string of pearls ,China has accomplished maritime superiority thus challenging the US :China has established airstrip on Woody island in the Paracel archipelago located 300 nautical miles west of Vietnam, shipping facility in Chittagong, Bangladesh,Port in Sittwe ,Myanmar, Gwadar in Pakistan, Pipeline through Islamabad to Kashgar in Xinjiang and facilities on islands in the Bay of Bengal near the Malacca Strait and the Hambantota port in Sri Lanka .
Besides this China has already embarked on creating its suzerainty over South China Sea and even expanding its influence to Pacific region that also includes Australia.
It has also aggressively started pursuing One-China policy that includes Taiwan and Hongkong to counter Trump’s changed postures over these China’s claimed parts of erstwhile One China.
Internationally, Russia has won a major victory against US and the European Union in Syria by liberating Aleppo .After the failed coup attempt in Turkey, Russia is trying to drive a wedge between Turkey and the NATO countries of Europe and is desirous of reviving its old region of countries in the erstwhile Soviet Union and to counter balance American influence in this region. The importance of Central Asia and the Caucasian region in the foreign policy of Moscow has been increasingly tremendously since 2004.
Inspite of close economic ties with China, Russia is also working on having friendly relations with US but China fears that Putin-Donald Trump equation can harm Beijing’s global interests.
While US President Barack Obama has signed into law the $618 billion defence budget 2017 and also the National Defence Authorization Act which asks Defence Secretary and Secretary of State to take necessary steps to recognise India as “America’s major defence partner.”Pakistan, China and Russia are set to hold talks in Moscow on December 27,2016 to discuss regional peace and stability ,including situation in Afghanistan
It will be interesting to watch Donald Trump’s policy for Pakistan and China .