China, Russia May Effectively Become Allies: Japan Report

Reuters file photo
A military officer adjusts a Russian flag ahead of a welcome ceremony hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping for Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing in June 2018.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — China and Russia may effectively become allies as they share common strategic goals including change of the current U.S.-led international order, a Japanese government think tank said Friday.

China and Russia “could effectively enter into a de facto alliance,” said a report by the National Institute for Defense Studies, a think tank of the Defense Ministry.

“The contest between the United States and China/Russia over the international order will accelerate” in the next decade, the China Security Report 2024 said.

The administrations of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin “share a common aversion to Western liberal values,” such as freedom and democracy, and are expected to deepen cooperation to build a new order, according to the report.

The two countries will not only strengthen their military ties, including through joint exercises around Japan, but also “form groups around authoritarian emerging and developing countries” among the so-called Global South states that do not necessarily share universal values, the report warned.

If their bilateral strategic relations expand to cover wider areas of cooperation, Beijing and Moscow may effectively form alliance, the report added.

The report also highlighted China’s efforts to enhance its nuclear forces.

If China can attain nuclear deterrence matching that provided by the United States, it would be able to create a situation of mutually assured destruction, a stalemate in which neither side can launch a nuclear attack without causing its own destruction, the report said.

China would then be able to “raise the threshold for U.S. military involvement in conflicts” in the Taiwan Straits and the East and South China seas, the report said, predicting that Beijing may become more inclined to employ conventional forces in such theaters in such a situation.

Whether unilateral changes by China to the status quo by force can be prevented or not in those areas, where China’s core interests are concentrated, “will be the most crucial determinant of the long-term course of the competition for the international order,” the report stressed.

“The United States explicitly recognizes China and Russia as challengers to the existing international order,” the report said, adding that Washington will step up its efforts to repel these challenges.

To the end, the United States is expanding cooperation with its allies and like-minded countries, including with its Quad partners of Japan, Australia and India and its Aukus partners of Australia and Britain, the report stated.