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  • Carl Bildt
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  • António Guterres
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15 Sep 2022 (approximate)

“They cheer-lead on behalf of each other, offering moral and political support to their partner when their interests align. But China and Russia are strategically autonomous actors, whose influence on each other's behaviour is limited and indirect at best. And rather than being propelled into a new orbit of cooperation, the long-term outlook for the Russia-China relationship is not promising. The Xi and Putin relationship is primarily based on the self-interests of two strategically autonomous powers and a fundamental difference is that China is invested in global order. China wishes to play a more dominant role, but it does not wish to demolish that order. Putin, however, is focused on disruptive power and a complete overthrow of the international system. That is why Putin has resorted so readily to military force - in Georgia, Syria, Ukraine and, more covertly, in Iraq, Libya, Mali and the Central African Republic. Russia, but not China, has invested in the value of waging war. He [Putin] and those around him identify Russia's ability and will to wage war as a comparative advantage that few others, apart from the United States, possess.”

Non-resident fellow at Australia’s think-tank the Lowy Institute
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Date and Location
  • 15 September 2022 (approx)
  • 15 September 2022
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