China and Russia
Four Centuries of Conflict and Concord
Imprint: Yale University Press
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.
“An extensively researched and often compelling account, from which we are free to draw conclusions of our own as to where this most consequential of relationships may be taking us.”—Christopher Harding, The Telegraph
“Snow navigates this huge panorama with a fluency and a lightness of touch that makes his book a wonderfully readable guide.”—Denis Staunton, Irish Times
“Snow’s command of the detail as well as the larger sweep of the political terrain is impressive. . . . An outstanding guide to both these protean powers.”—Rana Mitter, Literary Review
“The author of this remarkable new book has mastered a daunting range of sources spanning several centuries . . . to produce a lively and engaging narrative of a dense and troubled relationship.”—Richard Overy, BBC History Magazine
“A thoroughly researched account of this long dance between two nations.”—Francis Giles, Es Global
“An ambitious and wide-ranging study that manages to tell a complex story lucidly, fully engaging the many factors that shaped the development of Sino-Russian relationships.”—Stephen Smith, author of Russia in Revolution
“A comprehensive, thoroughly researched and fluently written account of the history of one of the most important but misunderstood relations in geopolitics. Russia and China share a vast border, and a history stretching back half a millennium. And yet, as Snow shows, beneath the language of partnership we hear today there lurk deep memories of conflict, suspicion, and at times visceral fear. An essential narrative account of a globally important issue.”—Kerry Brown, author of CEO China: The Rise of Xi Jinping
“[The Chinese-Russian] relationship from its humble beginnings four centuries ago to the strategic partnership of today. Scholarly and richly detailed, it tells the story of a unique relationship across a vast cultural divide. Written by a rare scholar equally at ease in Russian and Chinese, China and Russia is certain to become an essential reference book.”—Franck Billé, coauthor of On the Edge: Life Along the Russia-China Border