The Russia-China Nexus—How Should the United States Compete?

The announcement of the historic pact between Beijing and Moscow on February 4, 2022, marks a new era in the deepening China-Russia relationship. The document signals that the two countries are prepared to take their partnership to the next level based on their shared goal of undermining U.S. global influence. How we frame this competition will shape how we engage other countries, marshal international support, and build partnerships.

How should the United States’ national security and foreign policy strategy evolve to meet the challenges arising from closer ties between Russia and China? How should we define this contest we are in? Is it about democracies versus authoritarian states? Is it just great power politics? What is the right way to think about this challenge?