Russia-China Near Alliance: Implications for the Indo-Pacific and Europe

Join our seminar on how the Moscow Beijing strategic partnership impacts Australian and European security, guest speaker Dr Alexey Muraviev.

The age of unipolarity, which effectively replaced the Cold War bipolar strategic system is gradually giving way to a new geopolitical configuration. By the end of the second decade of the twenty first century, China and Russia have emerged as alternative centres of global influence that openly contest the international rules-based order favoured by the West. Russia's aggression in eastern Europe and China's continuous pressure of Taiwan are examples of such a contest. The progression of the AUKUS security pact involving the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia acts of additional push factor that draws Russia and China closer to each other in the security and defence space.

At this point, it seems unlikely that China and Russia will enter into a formal alliance. Both Beijing and Moscow are keen to maintain independent foreign policies so they can pursue their national agendas. However, the continuing scepticism that dominates Western thinking about Sino-Russia relations may be overly optimistic. The deepening of the Sino-Russia strategic ties and the emergence of a bilateral quasi-alliance could prove to be a key factor shaping the Western Pacific's political and strategic landscape in the coming years. Furthermore, the strategic convergence between Moscow and Beijing may have detrimental longer-term strategic impact on both Australian and European security.

Guest speaker bio

Dr Alexey D. Muraviev is Associate Professor of National Security and Strategic Studies at Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia. He is the founder and Director of the Strategic Flashlight forum on national security and strategy at Curtin. Alexey is the former Head of Department of Social Sciences and Security Studies at Curtin. Between 2016 and 2021, Alexey was academic lead of Curtin defence strategic initiative.

He was also a non-residential fellow at Sea Power Centre Australia, the Royal Australian Navy; inaugural scholar-in residence at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute; and national judge, Department of Defence Eureka Prize for Outstanding Science in Safeguarding Australia (2019 to 2021);

Alexey has published widely in the field of national security, strategic and defence studies. His research interests include problems of modern maritime power; contemporary defence and strategic policy; Russia as a Pacific power; Russia's strategic engagement in the Indo-Pacific; and Australian national security and defence. Among his latest publications are Alexey D Muraviev, 'Strategic Reality Check: The Current State and Prospects of Russia-China Deepening Defence Cooperation', Australian Journal of Defence and Strategic Studies, 3 (1), 2021; Alexey D Muraviev, 'Russia' in Howard M. Hensel (ed), Security Dynamics in the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula, London and New York, Routledge, 2023; Alexey D Muraviev, Battle Reading the Russian Pacific Fleet 2023–2030, Sea Power Paper, Canberra: Sea Power Centre Australia, 2023.

He is a member of the International Editorial and Advisory Board, The Australian Journal of Defence and Strategic Studies, Australian Department of Defence; member of the Australian Member Committee, Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region (AU-CSCAP); member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, London; member of the Advisory Board, Australia Public Network, and other organisations and think tanks.

Alexey is regularly interviewed by national and international media, among them ABC TV and Radio, the Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, BBC World News and BBC Radio, Bloomberg, CNN, Fox News, TRT World, Channel News Asia, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Financial Times and other. He is the Contributor and Strategic Policy Analyst at the Sky News Australia.

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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.