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A Sino-Russian Entente Again Threatens America

 

Former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski warned in 1997 that the greatest long-term threat to U.S. interests would be a “grand coalition” of China and Russia, “united not by ideology but by complementary grievances.” This coalition “would be reminiscent in scale and scope of the challenge once posed by the Sino-Soviet bloc, though this time China would likely be the leader and Russia the follower.”

Few heeded his admonition. But this grand alignment of the aggrieved has been moving from the realm of the hypothetical toward what could soon be a geostrategic fact. Beijing and Moscow are drawing closer together to meet what each sees as the “American threat.”

The thought of an entente between Eurasia’s two great powers has for the most part struck the Washington establishment as so outlandish as not to require serious examination. Then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in August that Moscow and Beijing have a “natural nonconvergence of interests.” And there can be no doubt that their values and cultures differ starkly.

Nonetheless, a fundamental proposition in international relations is that the enemy of my enemy is a friend. Students of history know how often governments have been surprised by unnatural bedfellows, including the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany and the U.S.-Soviet alliance in World War II.  Read More

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