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In the 1950s, China and the Soviet Union were allied against the United States.Last May, shortly after the annexation of Crimea, Russia announced a $400 billion deal to supply 38 billion cubic meters of gas to China annually for 30 years, beginning in 2019 .In November, Gazprom announced a framework agreement to deliver an additional 30 bcm of gas to China's Xinjiang province from western Siberia for 30 years via another new pipeline. If the "eastern" and "western" pipelines are completed as planned, the 68 bcm they deliver to China annually would dwarf the 40 bcm that Russia exports to its current largest customer, Germany.Russia's economic and military power has been in decline, whereas China's has exploded.These imbalances suggest that Russia would resist a tight military alliance with China, even as the two countries pursue mutually beneficial tactical diplomatic coordination.China's willingness to cooperate with Russia also has its limits. Even within multilateral forums, the relationship between Russia and China is far from balanced. In short, when it comes to a Sino-Russian alliance challenging the West, history is not likely to repeat itself.
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