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Hal Brands

New Threat to the U.S.: the Axis of Autocracy

Russia and China had a vicious split in the 1960s. Now they are in a budding bromance.
Patching things up?

Patching things up?

Photographer: Park Ji-hwan/AFP/Getty Images
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It sounded like an echo of Sino-Soviet alliance of the 1950s and 1960s when China’s new defense minister, Wei Fenghe, said at a meeting in Moscow this month, “The Chinese side has come to show Americans the close ties between the armed forces of China and Russia.”  

A full-blown military alliance remains a long ways off, of course, and it is easy to dismiss Wei’s remarks as rhetorical posturing. But that would be a mistake, because Wei nonetheless captured an ominous feature of world politics today: the growing alignments between America’s various geopolitical rivals.