Lukonin Sergey, Jeh Sung Hoon
New Normality in the Asia-Pacific Region: Beijing between Moscow and Washington
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DOI: 10.22931/aanda.2023.7.1.008

For the main countries of the Asia-Pacific region, the United States, China and Russia, a situation of “new normality” is emerging. Moreover, for each of the countries, this “new normality” has its own meaning. For the United States, this is an aggravation of the military confrontation with China in the Taiwan Strait. For China, this is an increase in the degree of rivalry with the United States and a slowdown in the pace of economic development with a very high probability of their decline in the future. For Russia, this is an almost complete curtailment of relations with the United States against the background of a special military operation and imposed sanctions. These nuances, in addition to the results of the 20th CPC Congress, will determine the main trends in Sino-American and Sino-Russian relations. It seems that China's attitude towards Russia will not change against the background of the Ukrainian crisis. Beijing will maintain a position of “benevolent neutrality” towards Moscow. At the same time, the balance between “goodwill” and “neutrality” may vary depending on the scope of Sino-Russian cooperation. For example, in the economic sphere, Chinese companies will be afraid to cooperate with Russian partners for fear of secondary sanctions. However, in general, Russia will retain its importance for China as the strongest anti-American pole. In relations with the United States, China will continue to firmly defend its interests, while at the same time not excluding the normalization of relations with Washington in certain areas of cooperation: strategic stability, non-traditional threats, ecology, etc. In general, the decisions of the 20th CPC Congress do not allow us to say either in favor or against the idea of China's readiness to resume dialogue with the United States in the post-congress period. Sino-American relations, as noted above, have their own logic and will probably continue to develop within its framework. However, so are Sino-Russian relations. Within the framework of these logics, Beijing seems to continue to balance between the two vectors of its foreign policy. On the one hand, this is the development of bilateral cooperation with Russia in order to strengthen its own negotiating positions in the confrontation with the United States: military cooperation with an emphasis on joint exercises, political cooperation based on anti-Americanism, economic cooperation with an eye to the risks of secondary sanctions. On the other hand, it is unacceptable for China to recognize the collapse of Ukraine, the inadmissibility of a direct military clash with the United States and the extreme undesirability of further aggravation of relations with the United States on the factor of Chinese friendship with Russia.


Keywords: International Relations | New Normality | Asia-Pacific Region | China | Russia | United States |



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