At a time of turmoil in the West, China and Russia pose growing challenges to the liberal international order. The China-Russia relationship has grown stronger in recent years, as the two countries have increased coordination on North Korea and other issues. China and Russia are not about to form an alliance, but neither are they likely to drift apart in the near future. Their shared concerns about US power and resistance to liberal norms provide a strong basis for a continued close relationship, albeit one increasingly tilted in China’s favor.
As US President Donald J. Trump’s first year in office drew to a close, his administration increasingly pointed to the national security challenges posed by China and Russia. The new National Security Strategy of the United States, issued in December 2017, named China and Russia as “revisionist powers” that “challenge American power, influence, and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity.” The summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy, unveiled in January 2018, identified the “central challenge to U.S. prosperity and security as the reemergence of long-term, strategic competition” by these revisionist powers.