In this podcast interview, Dr. Maria Repnikova, expert on Sino-Russian relations, discusses the latest developments in the Sino-Russian relationship with National Committee President Stephen Orlins. She argues that notwithstanding an intriguing trend of increasing similarities in leadership and governing style between Russian president Vladimir Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping, the Sino-Russian relationship is characterized by numerous tensions and competitive elements, complicating the narrative often heard in the United States of close partnership and collusion between the two powers.

With the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the Chinese communist leadership established a formal alliance with the Soviet Union. The pact between the two communist giants proved to be short-lived as ideological differences between Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong, coupled with the growing fear in China of Soviet encirclement, compromised the alliance. Several border skirmishes, including a war in 1969, eventually led China’s leaders to fear a Soviet invasion. To counter this threat, Mao sought rapprochement with the United States, a move that would define Sino-Soviet relations until the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.

For the second installment of our 50th Anniversary series, China and the World, Dr. Maria Repnikova, expert on Sino-Russian relations, joined us on April 18, 2016 in New York City to discuss the present status of the Sino-Russian relationship.

Dr. Maria Repnikova is a scholar of comparative Chinese and Russian media politics and Sino-Russian relations. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is completing a book on critical journalists in China.