Since Russian President Vladimir Putin came to power in 1999, Russia has increasingly gravitated towards China. The formation of initiatives such as the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation in June 2001, with Russia and China as key players, underlined the desire to develop close bilateral and regional ties. Despite a short period of Russian rapprochement with the US following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, a cooling of the Russian-Western relationship followed on from the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the perceived Western influence in the 'coloured revolutions' in Georgia and Ukraine.
However, the situation is much more complicated as a result of internal influences on Russia's position. A particular cause for concern is the level of Chinese immigration, principally into the Russian Far East and Siberia. The Russian population in these regions has fallen by some 18 per cent since 1990 and is being gradually replaced by Chinese migrants. It is estimated there are already more than a million Chinese living in Russia's Far East, making the region's economy massively dependent on their labour.
I really wish that Jane's wasn't so expensive...:(