In the past few year the global community has seen the unipolar world dominated by the United States deteriorate with the emergence of Russia and China as global powers. However, it is the tie between the latter that can explain the role of a multipolar world. Both countries have developed economic ties with the establishment of the BRICS organization. This group includes the nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa being the equivalent of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The economic developed of the two nations began in the 90’s after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The progression of such relationship took time to fully get moving. In 2001 both countries signed a new treaty of cooperation. Again this new treaty took halfway through the decade to move towards the cooperation that both nations envisioned. For example in 1995 the value of trade between both countries was two billion dollars where in 2011 the value increased to $35 billion dollars. As it is seen by the numbers the partnership in trade that both countries had generated exponentially. However, during the years from 2012 to 2015 the trade value between both nations actually took a hit. In 2012-2013 the trade value was stated to be $100 billion dollars then in 2015 that number became $70billion. A major reason for that drop surrounded the price of oil. Due to the recent drop in the price of oil the two trade partners saw a decline in value. That is the major trade between the two nations oil and machinery equipment. China being a nation that has a high demand when it comes to oil trades Russia equipment to assist its manufacturing output.
Besides the establishment of BRICS, both countries have engaged in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. This group is similar to NATO and the U.N Security council where they have observer states such as Afghanistan, Iran, Belarus, and Mongolia. This possesses a similar scenario in terms of alliances as it did in World War I. As we have seen the Chinese and Russian military cooperation has grown as well as has there economic partnership has.
In September both nations held joint naval military exercises in the South China Sea with Anti-Submarine Destroyers. This is a precarious move due to the passage of American Naval warships and submarines in the area. In the past two years the South China Sea dispute has been one that has stirred a lot of tension between the United States and the Chinese. The relations have taken a bigger role when it comes to the conflict in Syria as a strong alliance for Bashar al Assad has formed including Iran, Russia, and China. Three countries that to the United States pose a threat to the national security of the nation from a global conflict perspective.
Recently we saw the reaction of the U.S, government over the ballistic missile test conducted by Iran but heard no condemnation from their Russian allies a suggestion that Russians agree that the Iranians are in their full right to test ballistic missiles. Furthermore trade between the Russians and the Iranians has increased in terms of armament. Furthermore each of three countries have taken a strong stance against ISIL in Syria. In a statement from The Role of International Organization in the Russia –China Relationship “…China has become increasingly concerned about ISIS and similar international terrorism is also shared by Russian policy [makers].” As we have seen the joint military cooperation has made the fight against ISIS and rebel groups a much easier task for the Assad regime.
But it has been progress that has not been made over the past couple of years. The American plan that called for supplying rebel forces by money and equipment did not work out accordingly. The pentagon and CIA both were funding two separate groups, expecting that they would take the fight to ISIS and Assad, instead both groups fought one another for the power that lies ahead if Assad was to be taken out of power.
With China in the mix in Syria it complicates the diplomacy aspect in big ways for the United States as they have to deal as I mentioned earlier the South China Sea issue and then deal with Russia and the Crimea issue, lastly the Assad issue plays in hand as well.
The alliance between Russia and China is a dynamic one and can will play a huge factor in the next coming years as we attempt to deal with the issues aforementioned above. This is a hybrid of what was the Cold War between the Russians and the Americans as it now deals with a third player and that player is as we all know now to be Russia. Major wars have started because of alliances and the tensions that are out in the open can become a powdered keg ready to explode and this time it can lead to much higher casualties than we have seen from the previous two world wars. However, this is per speculation and a huge hypothetical. We have seen in the past cooler heads prevail.