#DFS2022: It's complicated: The Russia-China Axis


Russia's war in Ukraine has revealed many inconvenient truths to the West, one of them being the extent of Russia’s and China’s ideological and strategic alignment. Europe's nascent economic decoupling from Russia and unprecedented sanctions against it have strengthened the strategic rationale that brings Russia and China closer together, reinforcing their respective anti-US and anti-NATO stance. This has resulted in a hitherto unseen degree of strategic consensus between the two countries, held together by their common anti-US and anti-NATO stances.

Recent weeks have shown that China’s support for Russia remains steadfast and could, in fact, be deepened in the future to include overt sanctions evasion and direct military support - an eventuality Europe must prepare for.

But how much Chinese support for Russia’s war can Europe tolerate and where does it draw its red lines? How can and should Europe respond if any of these lines are crossed? And what would that mean for the future of its relations with China?

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  • Alexander Gabuev, Senior Fellow and Chair Russia in the Asia-Specific Program, Carnegie Moscow Center (Twitter: @AlexGabuev)
  • Dr. Jakub Jakóbowski, Senior Policy Fellow, China-EU Programme, Centre for Eastern Studies (Twitter: @J_Jakobowski)
  • Kadri Liik, Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR (Twitter: @KadriLiik)
  • Dr. Janka Oertel, Director, Asia Programme, ECFR (Twitter: @oertel_janka)

Chair: Dr. Jana Puglierin, Head of Berlin Office and Senior Policy Fellow, ECFR (Twitter: @jana_puglierin)

Date: 17 May 2022, 14:00 - 15:30 CEST (90 minutes)
Format: open panel discussion
Registration: via the European Council on Foreign Relations