The Strategic Triangle: Dynamics between China, Russia, and the United States

By Hsiung, James C. | Harvard International Review, Spring 2004 | Go to article overview

The Strategic Triangle: Dynamics between China, Russia, and the United States


Hsiung, James C., Harvard International Review


The strategic triangle that once dominated world politics during the heyday of the Cold War has lost much of its glamour since the collapse of Soviet power. Nonetheless, Washington continues to keep a watchful eye on what transpires between Russia and China to pick up on clues that may hold policy implications for US national interests. US strategic moves may likewise foreshadow the policy responses of Russia and China.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

An example of this interaction is found in a series of events that took place in 1993 and 1994. In September 1993, China lost its bid before the International Olympic Committee to host the 2000 Olympic Games, allegedly because of US opposition. The defeat by a mere two votes was devastating to Beijing. Two months later, perhaps by coincidence, Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev visited China and signed an agreement with his Chinese counterpart to spur ministry-to-ministry defense cooperation. The impact of this development on Washington is hard to assess, but it came at a time when US President Bill Clinton was weighing the annual report to US Congress on whether to renew Most Favored Nation (MFN) trading status for China. On May 25, 1994, far ahead of the deadline, Clinton announced that the United States was ready to renew China's MFN status. He made it known, in a clear break with tradition, that the MFN issue for China would henceforth be delinked from the human rights question. Clinton's policy shift anticipated the 1999 US Congressional legislation that awarded China Permanent Normal Trade Relations status, paving the way for Chinese accession to the World Trade Organization two years later.

The Sino-Russo Partnership

While Clinton favored engagement with both Russia and China, he seemed increasingly wary of Russia. Despite the domestic disarray that followed the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia had inherited a powerful nuclear capability that could conceivably be a potent threat. This concern may have been responsible for the West's post-1993 push to enlarge NATO. The move apparently changed Russia's initial "Atlanticist" outlook, and by 1995 Moscow had turned both inward and eastward.

In its inward or nostalgic turn, Moscow embraced a "statist" policy to develop a strategic identity and seek regional power status. In Eurasia, Russia looked to a reintegration of the Commonwealth of Independent States, including Belarus and Ukraine. In East Central Europe, it opposed any Western enlargement that would exclude it. Russia aspired to fashion Eurasia under its influence and to create an East Central Europe that would remain a neutral zone.

In a bold eastward turn, Russia expanded its partnership with China to new heights since the 1989 normalization of the two countries' bilateral relations, ending a 32-year rift. On the heels of the 1993 Sino-Russo ministry-to-ministry defense cooperation, the two countries entered into a strategic partnership in 1996. Chinese President Jiang Zemin's visit to Moscow in April, his fourth summit with Russian President Boris Yeltsin since 1992, sealed the agreement. Around the same time, representatives of the two countries met in Shanghai, along with delegates from three former Soviet republics in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kirgizia, and Tajikistan). The Shanghai Forum they created foreshadowed the creation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in June 2001, which Uzbekistan also joined. The next month, in Moscow, Jiang signed a Sino-Russo Good-Neighbor Treaty of Friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. An important feature of the treaty is the legal framework it provides, in theory at least, for enduring bilateral cooperation in a wide spectrum of areas, encompassing trade and economy, science and technology, energy, transportation, finance, space and aviation, information technology, and trans-border and inter-regional endeavors. A Russian source describes the treaty and the SCO as the two pillars of Sino-Russo strategic partnership in the new era. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Strategic Triangle: Dynamics between China, Russia, and the United States
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.