Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The China-Russia Alliance


The birth of a new anti-Western alliance: China and Russia are rivals in Central Asia, but otherwise they have a lot of common interests, and seek to create an alternative to the current U.S.- and Europe-dominated world order. This short article in the Los Angeles Times provides some insightful analysis.

On the one hand, China, Russia, and other nations should certainly be able to make a contribution to the international order. On the other hand, the governments of China and Russia are currently very corrupt and authoritarian, so one fears the contribution that they are currently poised to make.

On a related note (via Marginal Revolution), a recent Harvard and MIT study maps out China's ideological spectrum. In brief:
Individuals who are politically conservative, who emphasize the supremacy of the state and nationalism, are also likely to be economically conservative, supporting a return to socialism and state-control of the economy, and culturally conservative, supporting traditional, Confucian values. In contrast, political liberals, supportive of constitutional democracy and individual liberty, are also likely to be economic liberals who support market-oriented reform and social liberals who support modern science and values such as sexual freedom. 
This is notably different from the ideological spectrum in the United States, in which conservatives often support free markets and individual liberty (at least rhetorically). I wonder if Russia has a similar ideological spectrum to China. In any case, the authoritarian side is quite powerful in both China and Russia, which could bode ill for the new world order which they seek to create.
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