Whenever China and Russia shake hands, alarm bells ring in Washington. It's an old story given new life by increasingly contentious US relations with both countries and a new round of glad-handing by senior Chinese and Russian officials. What if China and Russia were to form some kind of axis of revisionist powers, Americans (and others) wonder? How dangerous might that be for US interests and for global democracy?
China and Russia have obvious overlapping interests. Start with trade. China is the world's largest importer of oil and natural gas. Russia is the number two exporter of oil and the top for natural gas. It's a natural partnership.