Technology cooperation has long constituted an important part in China’s bilateral engagement with Russia. In recent years, however, Sino-Russian technology cooperation has seen a remarkable increase and both sides now view such interaction as a core dimension in the current and future development of the strategic partnership. This article examines the two countries’ technological collaboration, focusing in particular on China’s engagement with Russia in emerging technologies and strategic domains.
The article argues that three explanations account to explain closer engagement from China: (i) intensified strategic competition with the USA, (ii) broader efforts to expand the overall trade and economic relationship with Russia, and (iii) domestic regime security incentives. Overall, while there exist several challenges and obstacles, increased technology cooperation will continue to expand and also enhance the Sino-Russian strategic partnership. This does not mean that China and Russia will form a formal alliance, but technology cooperation will constitute a critical component in their bilateral relationship, as it reduces their dependence on Western technology, and further consolidates an already well-grounded bilateral relationship.