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Marriage of Convenience: Russia-China Relations

Constrained but cordial, cooperative but competitive, prickly yet robust – the relationship between Russia and China … well, it’s complicated.

The giant neighbours fell out dramatically during the Cold War, patched things up under Gorbachev and Deng and are now pursuing what is cautiously described as a ‘special relationship’. It’s not a traditional strategic alliance, but the two countries have many mutual interests relating to trade and energy, ideas around national sovereignty and, of course, the desire to challenge America’s waning hegemony and shift the global power dynamic. Naturally, there are tensions too – especially over influence in central Asia.

For this Fifth Estate discussion, Sally Warhaft will be joined by diplomat and memoirist Tony Kevin and scholar and author Bobo Lo. The three will talk geopolitics, security, trade and 21st Century power plays.

This event will not proceed as planned. The next Fifth Estate will be on Wednesday 26 April; keep an eye on this website (or better, our newsletter) for details. We apologise for the inconvenience.


Portrait of Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer and the host of the Wheeler Centre’s live journalism series, the Fifth Estate, now in its sixth year. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.

Portrait of Tony Kevin

Tony Kevin

Tony Kevin is the author of A Certain Maritime Incident: the sinking of SIEV X (2004) and Reluctant Rescuers (2012), two books about Australia’s maritime border protection system. He published a travel memoir Walking the Camino (2007) about his long pilgrimage walk through Spain. Crunch Time (2009) tackled issues, still unresolved, of framing an effective Australian policy against global warming. 

Portrait of Bobo Lo

Bobo Lo

Bobo Lo is an independent analyst and the former head of the Russia and Eurasia programme at Chatham House. His latest book, Russia and the New World Disorder, was shortlisted for the 2016 Pushkin House Prize, and was described by the Economist as the ‘best attempt yet to explain Russia’s unhappy relationship with the rest of the world’.

The Fifth Estate

Sally Warhaft has been the Wheeler Centre’s in-house news anchor since 2012. In 2018 – over 100 episodes in – the anthropologist, broadcaster and intrepid interviewer’s fortnightly live series continues, as she responds to the most important debates of the day and reignites stories that have fallen off the front pages.

Every second Tuesday, Sally hosts a dizzying array of guests from the worlds of politics, culture, international relations and beyond, in a witty and revealing analysis of current affairs. It’s an event series and a live podcast taping rolled into one. Topical guests are announced in the weeks prior to events: keep an eye on our website (or in the Wheeler Weekly) for updates.


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