Since China and Russia have moved their comprehensive strategic partnership forward towards an unprecedented height, people have wondered what the motives are behind the two huge land powers to crave this end. Historically, China and the former Soviet Union had forged the formal alliance throughout the 1950s due to the common security concerns, the shared ideologies and the strategic interests of the day. Yet, they also split into the arch rivals for nearly two decades until the early 1980s. Realist scholars believe that China and the former USSR and now Russia are doomed to compete with each other in light of their geographical vicinity and the lack of mutual trust resulted from the pursuit of greatness and historical memories. However, since the collapse of the USSR, China and Russia have developed their overall ties steadily and substantially. To well grasp the raison d’être of Sino-Russian strategic partnership, it is necessary to analyze the rationales behind the current relations between Beijing and Moscow stemming from their consensus, or «the shared views» that the future world order will be founded on multilateralism rather than unilateralism, in which China and Russia must be appropriately placed alongside the United States and other major players.
Key words: China, Russia, strategic partnership, security concern, multilateralism, unilateralism, Shanghai spirit.
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