In this article Rémi Perelman offers two scenarios for the way that relations may develop between the two regional giants undergoing "reconversion": China and Russia.
During a period of more than 20 years, despite their ideological links, Maoist China and the Soviet Union maintained their own kind of Cold War, assembling troops on their common borders because of fears of invasion. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Sino-Russian relations were normalized, as each country tried to secure its place on the world economic stage and resume its role as a "normal" participant in international relations.
While China quickly became a key economic player, Russia has struggled to make headway in this area. Both nations nevertheless remain important political and military powers, and their position in international discussions cannot be ignored. Along with the European Union, they constitute the only opposition to American dominance. Their effectiveness would be all the greater if they cooperated with each other.
Taking as his starting-point various recent instances of collaboration between the two countries and, more broadly, with the Central Asian republics, Rémi Perelman outlines two scenarios for 2025: in the first, the current situation continues, with each of the two nations trying to improve its own position but without hurting the other, though also without becoming a real threat to North America; in the second, moves are made towards pan-Asian regional integration and this creates a genuinely three-way system - but perhaps only two-way if Europe does not manage to maintain its position ...