China-Russia Relations in Times of Crises: A Neoclassical Realist Explanation

Asian Perspective, Vol. 42, No. 3 (July-September 2018), pp. 411-437

25 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2018

See all articles by Alexander Korolev

Alexander Korolev

University of New South Wales

Vladimir Portyakov

Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) - Institute of Far Eastern Studies

Date Written: July 31, 2018

Abstract

Although not formal allies, China and Russia have steadily increased their strategic cooperation. However, crises and tensions in each other’s areas of strategic interest continue to complicate each country’s relations with each other and the rest of the international community. This paper explores China’s reaction toward major crises in the post-Soviet space (the Caucasus Crisis of 2008 and the Ukraine Crisis of 2014) and Russia’s responses to the South China Sea dispute and shows that they share many similarities. To explain the reaction patterns and better understand the nature of contemporary China-Russia relations, this paper applies a neoclassical realist framework, which helps assess the impact of both system-level and unit-level factors on great powers’ behavior. The assessment demonstrates that the observed behavior pattern is an outcome of causal forces of different levels simultaneously pushing in different directions.

Keywords: China-Russia Relations, Neoclassical Realism, Caucasus Crisis, Ukraine Crisis, South China Sea Dispute

Suggested Citation

Korolev, Alexander and Portyakov, Vladimir, China-Russia Relations in Times of Crises: A Neoclassical Realist Explanation (July 31, 2018). Asian Perspective, Vol. 42, No. 3 (July-September 2018), pp. 411-437, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3223494

Alexander Korolev (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales ( email )

NSW 2052, Australia
Sydney, NSW NSW 2052
Australia

Vladimir Portyakov

Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) - Institute of Far Eastern Studies ( email )

Nahimovsky avenue, 32
Moscow, 117997
Russia

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