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Marriage of Convenience: Russia-China Relations


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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.


Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians’ lives in the fog of ... Read more

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... Read more

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 unhapp... Read more


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