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In this timely, eloquent and meticulously researched assessment of the "strategic partnership" between Russia and China, Lo (Vladimir Putin and the Evolution of Russian Foreign Policy) explores how their alliance has evolved on political, economic and military fronts. The author counters recent claims that cooperation has reached "a level unprecedented in history" with salient examples of opportunism and narrowly defined self-interest on issues ranging from foreign policy and energy to weapons and national security. While the image of a formal, longstanding partnership bolters their standing in the international community-and as a counterbalance to U.S. hegemony-there are fault lines: Russia fears Chinese irredentism in its far eastern regions (once part of imperial China during the Qing dynasty and inhabited by ethnic Chinese populations), and China must temper its need for Russian energy and weapons to avoid perceptions of dependence and risking its important trade links with the U.S. Lo suggests possible directions in which these ties and hierarchies are likely to shift in the next decade, illuminating the mechanisms and realities behind rhetoric and media-spin in which political regimes are often complicit. (Nov.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.