Interconnections among the United States, Russia and China: Does Kissinger's American leadership formula apply?

The relationship in the United States - Russia - China triangle was one of the most important factors of international relations during the Cold War and remains so in the post-bipolar period. Its relevance has increased even more after the victory of Donald Trump in the presidential elections in the United States, who as a candidate repeatedly advocated closer relations with the Russian Federation and revised cooperation with China. This article appraises bilateral relations between these three countries in 2014 by conducting quantitative analysis of both flows (trade and investment, migration and others) and events (reciprocal visits), as well as cooperation in multilateral organizations (United Nations, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) and in the format of the club diplomacy (the Group of 20; the BRICS group of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). The authors stared out using the Global Database of Events, Language and Tone to assess existing events according to the Goldstein scale. However, this event-analysis method could not estimate relations within the triangle accurately because of language factor (news in Russian and Chinese is underrepresented). Thus U.S. - Russia - China relations were examined through a quantitative analysis of specific series in four spheres - economic, political, humanitarian and military - in 2014. Each index was evaluated with points. Summaries reveal which countries in the triangle have the most successful connections and in which spheres. The study concluded that China and the United States had the most effective cooperation in 2014: the partnership developed more intensively in the economic and humanitarian spheres. Overall, U.S. - China and China - Russia relations are comparable to each other - the Russia - U.S. partnership cannot rival them. The U.S. - China and China - Russia couples cooperate the most effectively in two spheres. According to Henry Kissinger, cooperation between the United States and its partners must be more effective than the partners' relations with each other. The United States thus remains stay the leader in international relations. The authors conclude that this the U.S. leadership formula applies, because the value of U.S. - China and U.S. - Russia bilateral relations in sum is more powerful than the partnership of China and Russia.

National Research University Higher School of Economics
Number of issue
  • 1 RUDN University, 10 Building 2 Mikluho-Maklay Street, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation
  • 2 Department of Theory and History of International Relations, RUDN University, Russian Federation
  • 3 World Economy Department, MGIMO-University, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, 10 Building 2 Mikluho-Maklay Street, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation
And Tone (GDELT); Bilateral relations; China; Event analysis; Global Database of Events; Henry Kissinger; Language; Leadership; Quantitative analysis; Russia; United States
Date of creation
Date of change
Short link

Other records