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How the geopolitical partnership between China and Russia threatens the West

By Paul Dibb

We’re in an era when the risks of major-power conflict are growing. The most likely contenders are China, the rising power, and the US, the formerly dominant power that’s now in relative decline.

The other worrying contingency is conflict between Russia and US-led NATO. But what about the third possibility: the prospect of China and Russia collaborating to challenge American power? The most dangerous scenario for America would be a grand coalition of China and Russia united not by ideology, but by complementary grievances.

This paper examines Russian and Chinese concepts of great-power war in the 21st century, their views of the West and its military capabilities, and what risks they might both take to regain lost territories.

The paper concludes by examining how America might react, the implications of all this for the West, including Australia, and what sort of armed conflict might be involved.