Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Chinese President Xi Jinping share a stage in Sochi, Russia, on Feb. 6, 2014. (Alexei Nikolsky/AFP/Getty Images)
It has been said often in recent years that the most important bilateral relationship in the world is the one between China and the United States, primarily because of their economic engagement.
But in a broader geostrategic sense, such Beijing-Washington focus is wishful thinking by Washington bureaucrats and Wall Street brokers. It is an erroneous, even dangerous assumption because it overlooks Beijing's own strategic calculation which places Moscow, not Washington, at the center of China's geopolitical focus.
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