“The Chinese authorities have supported the Russian narrative about the protests in Kazakhstan and have given Moscow a free hand in stabilising the regime in the country. This confirms that the informal alliance between Russia and China is now mature, and Beijing will not do anything against Moscow,” Dr Michał Bogusz, an expert from the Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW), assessed in an interview with the Polish Press Agency (PAP).
As he emphasised, “Russia and China should be treated as close allies working out a common agenda in the region.”
The Russian and Chinese authorities unanimously supported the decisive actions of the President of Kazakhstan in the face of the violent protests in the country, including his decision to send the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) troops to the country.
“In the whole affair, both sides [China and Russia] acted on autopilot. The Russians quickly backed President Tokayev and stabilised the regime. Beijing gave them a free hand as it is a Russian zone of responsibility, and quickly backed the Russian narrative,” the expert pointed out.
According to Mr Bogusz, the two countries have created a “specific condominium” in Central Asia with “a clear division of responsibilities.”
“The Russians are responsible for the power issues and keeping the Central Asian republics under the influence of both powers. The Chinese are concerned with economic and development issues,” he explained.
As OSW experts emphasise, relations between Beijing and Moscow are now closer than ever before, taking the form of an informal alliance aiming to revise the international order based on the dominant position of the US.
In their opinion, the partnership between the two countries has taken the most concrete dimension in the military sphere, where it shows the features of a classic military alliance, despite the lack of a formal defence system.
As they are stressed, both regimes are preparing for a major conflict between superpowers and, in addition to joint military exercises, are also developing mechanisms for strategic coordination of actions on distant fronts in different regions of the world.