Studies of the history of the Cold War find the impact of values so overwhelming that national interests were left on the sidelines by Beijing and Moscow to their deep, later regret. Claims by both Moscow and Beijing over the past quarter century to be building a relationship based only on national interests defy evidence in plain sight. Throughout both periods, Washington looms high over this bilateral relationship, influencing how much values as well as interests matter. In looking back to earlier decades, what lessons should we draw about the balance between the two poles of policy-making? Which earlier decades are most relevant to where relations are heading? In looking ahead, what balance between interests and values should we foresee for this pairing? If US relations with Japan and South Korea are being reassessed for the balance of interests and values, there is no less reason to examine the critical Sino-Russian nexus for that balance too.