Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary DiplomatistJune 2020
Both have advanced cooperation at all three levels of international relations: national, regional, and global. Rarely, both have experienced moments of discord since they have entered into a “marriage of convenience”, which has acted as a resistive measure against the impact of western sanctions. However, the first phase of the COVID-19 outbreak has delivered a severe setback to one of the strongest quasi-alliances in the contemporary world order. An amicable reunion of Moscow and Beijing is highly debatable in the near future as it will take time to receive support from the elites and societies of both countries, which has already been fuelled with mutual distrust.
How the seeds of discord were sowed
The first two cases of coronavirus were discovered in Russia on January 31. Both infected people were citizens of China. Throughout the last week of January, Russia closed 18 of its 25 land border-crossing gateways with China, restricting 2600-mile cross-border trade and commerce. Later in the first week of February, Russia suspended issuing electronic visas to Chinese citizens, enforced a temporary ban on entering its borders for those who already possessed a visa, terminated almost all trains and flights to and from China, and most notably postponed the highly-coveted Russian Investment Forum in the Black Sea city of Sochi which had anticipated to attract a significant number of Chinese businesses.
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