Fascinating essay and research.

However I am afraid I have to differ with the idea that China’s opposition to separatism can be the issue that could derail China-Russia relations. It is true that Moscow is much more prone to be openly cynic than Beijing, but Putin crushed Chechen separatism at home without mercy, and the kind of separatism that Russia supports is at the end of the day a kind of irredentism, territories considered to be Russian at the eyes of Putin. It is true that Russian media has been prone to troll the West giving coverage to separatist movements in the West – while China has preferred to use Western repression in these cases to justify its own actions at home – but Putin is not trying to enforce a Wilsonian view of self-determination that could threaten China.

Also despite China likes to keep a generally more rigid position, it has also its own deal of double standards. For example China engages with the semi-autonomous Chinese armed groups Myanmar. China has also been supportive of Pakistan's position in Kashmir. And more explicitly, the Global Times has talked in a positive manner about Ryukyu secessionism, and Chinese funds have even been supporting research in Japan about this topic. So when Chinese interests are directly affected, can be more flexible with territorial sovereignty of other states.

Most governments have a generally cynical position about separatism, and Russia is important enough for China to look to the other way. At least as long as Moscow and Beijing feel increasing pressure from the West, their best option is to get along. It is difficult that territorial reclamations that do not directly affect each other will be the reason that will break their alliance.

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After stating the PRC reasoning on the Taiwan issue , "This is the CCP’s argument:

Premise 1: There is one China and Taiwan is a province of China.

Premise 2: Everyone, including the government of Taiwan, agrees that the One-China policy is the true description of the borders of the status quo.

Conclusion: Any party aiding Taiwan’s autonomy is encouraging separatism and instigating warfare.


authors states "To be clear, this is nonsense, " . I am probably too daft or naïve, but

which part of this syllogism is nonsense? Both premises are true: every country on Earth, whether they recognize Taiwan or the PRC, states that there is only one China. Taiwan calls itself "The Republic of China" , its constitution states they are China, their Marine Corps emblem contains a map with the Chinese borders at the time of the Qing dynasty, etc. The only thing that looks (to me) a leap on the logic is equating "encouraging separatism" to "instigating warfare" , but that is not llimited to China: most states on Earth do not explicitly allow secession, regardless of the reasons.

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Dude - with all respect - this article is unreadable

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The author never mentions the obvious.

As long as China needs Russian oil and Russian needs revenue from China, and as long as the West is the opponent of both, Russia and China will remain locked in a partnership of some sort. Of course, that relationship will always remain purely transactional, with both continually trying to gain small advantages from the other.

As for Xi being a fanboy of Putin, Xi knows that he is the humble servant of the greatest power on Earth and thus it is unthinkable that he should look up to anyone. When you see pictures of XI and Putin together, Putin often looks toward Xi, who gazes serenely ahead.

You also underestimate the human capacity to embrace hypocrisy — China always says (and always will say) that every bad thing they do was forced on them by the unrelenting and thoroughly amoral threat from the West.

But it all comes back essentially to the fact that China needs Russia's oil and Russia needs China's money. That is the water in which both of these large fishes swim.

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