Russia and China, the largest and most populous countries in the world, respectively, have maintained a delicate relationship for four centuries. In addition to a four-thousand-kilometer border, they have periodically shared a common outlook on political and economic affairs. But they are, in essence, profoundly different polities and cultures, and their intermittent alliances have proven difficult and at times even volatile.
Philip Snow provides a full account of the relationship between these two global giants. Looking at politics, religion, economics, and culture, Snow uncovers the deep roots of the two nations' alignment. We see the shifts in the balance of power, from the wealth and strength of early Qing China to the Tsarist and Soviet ascendancies, and episodes of intense conflict followed by harmony. He looks too at the experiences and opinions of ordinary people, which often vastly differed from those of their governments, and considers how long the countries' current amicable relationship might endure.