Cold War Part II: Russia and China vs. the U.S.

The Heritage Foundation’s Ariel Cohen has an interesting article today titled “War Games: Russia, China Grow Alliance.”

After reviewing various aspects of a warming alliance between Russia and China, Cohen makes the following observations and recommendations:

If the U.S. and the three European powers, which failed to negotiate a halt in the Iranian nuclear program, bring the case against Tehran to the U.N. Security Council, Russia and China are likely to block real sanctions. They may threaten to veto a resolution calling for the use of force to terminate Iranâ??s nuclear-arms bid.

Moscow and Beijing want to work together because each country now views the other as its â??strategic rear.â? Given this reality, the U.S. should take prudent steps to drive a wedge between Russia and China. To do that, the Bush administration should:

â??Work with Russia to battle radical Islamic groups in Central Asia. Opposing Islamic terrorism and militancy is a joint interest for the two powers. Washington should help develop joint energy, services and manufacturing projects in Central Asia among, for example, Russian, Turkish and Indian firms.

â??Increase intelligence monitoring of relations between Russia and China, especially in national security areas. Intelligence gathering should focus on the condition of Russian forces in the Far East, including the possibility of the Russian Pacific Fleetâ??s intercepting the U.S. Seventh Fleet in any confrontation in the East China Sea.

â??Strengthen military and security cooperation with India and Japan. The U.S. should work with them to secure shipping lanes and develop Central Asia and the Russian Far East to offset Chinaâ??s growing economic power.

Despite strides in Sino-Russian rapprochement, Moscow remains nervous about China, especially its intentions in the Russian far east and Siberia. Riding the Chinese dragon may well prove even less comfortable for the Russians than they anticipate.

At that point, they may wish to renew a genuine partnership with the United States. But until then, we must monitor this emerging partnership carefully â?? and work to keep it from getting too cozy.

See the full article for more.