Special Forum

Sino-Russian defense cooperation has intensified significantly, especially after the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis, making an update of what I wrote in this journal barely a year ago important in a wide-ranging assessment of how the military situation is evolving in East Asia. Coming after a prolonged period of relative decline in defense relations between the two countries starting around 2005, this turnaround surprised many observers. In reality, signs of a potential turnaround were already evident to close observers as early as 2012, following Putin’s return to power. Soon thereafter, Moscow and Beijing commenced a series of joint naval exercises, completed new arms sales agreements, and even signed a new intellectual property agreement.1

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