Foreign Policy’s article “The Axis of No,” by Dmitri Trenin, argues that the events of the Arab Spring and the toppling of authoritarian regimes in the Middle East has contributed to a tightening of relations between the Chinese and Russians who have positioned themselves in opposition to United Nations’ backed maneuvers to aid the collapse of long-standing governments throughout the region. This coalition is best expressed in their solidarity on the United Nations Security Council, where both powers have and freely exercise their veto powers over Western diktats in the organization. Dmitri Trenin argues that, rather than being ideological in nature, the relationship between China and Russia is pragmatic and born out of a mutual desire to limit international intervention in domestic political events. For example, the Russians and Chinese have been reluctant to push Syria to collapse for fear of fanning the flames of sectarian violence and leaving a power vacuum into which could step an Islamist regime. If such events were to occur, these changes in Syria’s regime could draw in other actors like Israel, Hezbollah and Hamas. China’s economic interests in the Middle East and Russian interests in the Caucasus, where Islamic fighters wage a struggle against Russian rule, drive the two regimes to seek stability in the region, especially with regard to Iran. Ultimately, Trenin argues against China’s and Russia’s position and criticizes it as one born out of an anticipatory rather than normative disposition. Without global vision and decisive steps in that direction, the two countries will struggle to become true world leaders.

 

[Foreign Policy]