Impact Factor: 0.667
Sino-Russian relations, Strategic partnership, Mutual support, Coronavirus, Twitter.
The paper focuses on the COVID-19 as a stress test to the Sino-Russian strategic partnership: has it driven Russia and China closer together, farther apart, or made no difference? Employing content analysis of official Russian discourse as expressed by the Kremlin, the Government, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), both via their official web pages (104 online publications) and Twitter accounts (260 tweets), this study focuses on the Russian twiplomacy as a more suitable mean to reflect the real-time changes of an evolving crisis. The analysis demonstrates that the Sino-Russian relationship extends beyond the “axis of convenience.” It does not, however, correspond to the support expected from a consolidated (comprehensive) strategic partnership, nor does it achieve the intensity of soft balancing (vis-à-vis the USA) in a particularly polarized and politicized international context.