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Tension on China’s inland frontier may grow over time

Monday, October 5, 2020

Significance

Moscow is a key partner in opposing Western hegemony, but Pakistan is the closest thing China has to an ally and depends increasingly on Chinese support. Territorial and economic conflicts with India are pushing Delhi closer to Washington and Tokyo.

Impacts

  • Russia would probably oppose any attempt to increase China’s overt military presence in Central Asia.
  • Despite the return home of militants from Islamic State territories in Syria and Iraq, the threat from radical Islamism remains low.
  • Divergences of interest will not prevent China-Russia cooperation for now, but Beijing cannot rely on Moscow to defer to its wishes.
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