An interesting article from the Moscow Times by CSIS researcher Alejandro Sueldo analyzes the effect of Russia’s competition with China on its nuclear policy and its general world stance. One of the most common mistakes Americans make in foreign relations is analyzing each country’s relationship with the US through an exclusively bilateral focus. We ask why our relationship with Pakistan is troubled — and don’t look at the effect our rapprochement with India has on Pakistan’s world. We think Russia is preoccupied with us — and forget about its concern with the rapidly growing superpower of the east.Reading articles like this is a good way to begin to correct that bias. Smart foreigners see us in context; we should try to return the favor. Sample:
Russia is very concerned about China, but this is driven more by fears about China’s capabilities than any real threats.Russia perceives China as being highly unpredictable and worries about Beijing’s technological dominance, growing military strength and demographic and economic expansion into Siberia, which is sparsely populated but resource-rich.Meanwhile, the Kremlin’s saber-rattling in the Far East, while purportedly aimed at protecting the Kuril Islands from a weak Japan, is Moscow’s subtle signal to Beijing.