The Paradox of Sino-Russian Partnership: Global Normative Alignment and Regional Ontological Insecurity

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The Sino-Russian partnership presents a paradox for analysts and policymakers in that contemporary Sino-Russian relations can be characterized on the one hand by global normative alignment and on the other by regional ontological insecurity. This chapter begins by examining the Chinese and Russian narratives that lead to global alignment. Next, their competing regional narratives, identities, and regional integration strategies are examined. These stem from differing historical experiences, understandings of borders and border states, and views of their own regional role. The chapter argues that these competing self-concepts and strategies lead to an ontological security dilemma on the regional level. This dilemma contributes to a lack of regional integration, which the pandemic experience has highlighted, with relatively few cases of Covid-19 transmission occurring across the Sino-Russian border. The chapter concludes with policy implications for the U.S. and other concerned states and argues that the insecurity on the regional level is unlikely to translate into opportunities to weaken the Sino-Russian global alignment.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe United States and Contemporary China-Russia Relations
Subtitle of host publicationTheoretical Insights and Implications
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9783030939823
ISBN (Print)9783030939816
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022


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