By Andrew Zirkle | China/Russia
Although China and Russia have historically been geopolitical rivals, it appears as though the countries are reaching out to each other economically. Ahead of a state visit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Xi has been quoted describing Sino-Russian relations as at their “best time in history.”
The two nations have begun to build a great level of strategic trust which has been punctuated by each country dropping all controversial claims that caused a previous border crisis between the countries. Xi has also been quoted as stating “President (Vladimir) Putin and I have built good working relations and a close personal friendship,” and “I believe the visit will inject new impetus to the development of the China-Russia relations.” Both of these statements suggest that the Chinese government is ready to expand bilateral cooperation with the Russians in technology and energy sectors as well as foster new diplomatic ties to help mutual raise their diplomatic power.
Although this strengthening of relations has been a relative non-factor against American interests, it appears as though the diplomatic powers of each country are engaging in a coordinated and public verbal assault of the new THAAD missile defense system that the United States is installing in South Korea. Chinese news agencies have quoted President XI as saying “The U.S. deployment of an advanced anti-missile system in South Korea gravely harms the strategic security interests of China, Russia and other countries in the region.” President Putin continued the diplomatic criticism by branding THAAD installation in South Korea as “a major concern [which] disrupts the strategic balance of the world.”
Although it’s not clear whether the two countries are planning on any further disruption of American interests in the area, it is expected that this issue will develop when President Trump meets with the leaders of the two nations at the upcoming G20 conference.