Who is more powerful, Russia or China?
Linus Skov, I live in Europe and I'm loving it
I'm going to say China, because it beats Russia in every factor that could affect international politics. China has a much larger population (10x that of Russia) and therefore also a lot more cultural influence (soft-power) in the neighbouring region. While it's certainly still influenced by Western culture, China has it's own version of pretty much every heritage that we think of as unique to Western culture. Russia is much more tied to European culture than any East Asian nation ever will be, because 70% of Russia's population live in Europe.
China has a more populous and military. It's technology and training still doesn't match the US, but China certainly rivals Russia in what matters most in modern warfare: power projection. It's also worth noting that Russia's military are suffering from demographic troubles, which is the reason that foreign nationals are now able to enter the armed forces.
China has more allies, even though it never gets close to the Western alliance system of the EU, the Anglosphere, Japan, South Korea and the Gulf States. Russia's geopolitical area of influence isn't really something to be proud of. Even though it has good diplomatic relations with a number of nations, it's only has actual influence on five rather insignificant nations :(on the international stage, that is) Armenia, Belarus, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazahstan (members of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Collective Security Treaty Organization)
China obviously also beats the living daylights out of Russia in industrial capacity and economic health. China has a much larger and more stable economy, that notably isn't in a recession, unlike Russia's. China has behaved lately and has much better relations with the West, meaning no sanctions from the world's largest economies, which has been one of Russia's great perils.
Overall, I'd say China is much more influential on the world stage, even when it doesn't attempt to intervene in conflicts and expand it's area of influence.
Robin Sparkes, Student of History & Politics
‘Power’ is roughly the ability of one state to influence another, or to influence the outcome of something. Both China and Russia have the ability to do these things.
To put it bluntly, Russia can influence most of the states around it in various ways- (E. European states, C. Asian states, certain client states etc) through military force and prowess, even by the exploits of its weapons market. China can however influence most of the countries around the world to varying degrees by way of economic strength.
Militarily, the Russian Federation, despite its financial limitations is still the world’s no.2 power, managing to use the behemoth armed forces left to them by the Soviet Union to thriftily modernise and streamline. Arguably the world’s leading nuclear- armed power, the Russians dont need to spend in the trillions to maintain a high level of lethality. The Chinese are indeed a nuclear power, and modernising, but the Russians learned a lot during the Cold war and know their enemies well and how to defeat them. China’a military budget is bigger than Russia’s but traditionally the Chinese have required Soviet/ Russian assistance to arm them and are only just moving towards a more domestic procurement policy.
Economically Russia is a country that has had to learn from the bottom how to have a free market economy- only since 1991 was their economy based on free markets and have been decimated by the post- Soviet breakup of their once- mighty resources; they have still much to learn about it. The Chinese however saw during the 1960s the flaws of the planned economy and have slowly transitioned into a Closed- free market economic juggernaut- 2nd only to the United States itself. They reformed their economic model painfully and it has borne wonderful fruit;. Therefore China is unprecedented in their economic revival, and as such has a far more global reach and influence.
Politically they’re relatively even as they both have a permanent seat and a Veto in the UN security council. Their recent closer ties owing to American and EU pressures is sure to provide each other with their strengths and weaknesses- a huge market for Russian energy resources and a close military power for protection and assistance, as well as an ally at the UN.
Alex Jouravlev, From 0 to 30 in Russia. A long time ago.
Russia is stronger in nuclear strike, and has much superior in second strike capability. She still has better weaponry - however China is catching up, and possibly stronger elite forces - definitely more experienced.
As far as economic power and influence go, China is stronger by far. They are not in the same category, really. Not only other countries seek Chinese investments, they increasingly want China to do things for them.
Ability to execute is once again incomparable. If Russia asked China to build a brindge or tunnel to Crimea, it would be possibly ready by now.
As far as governance and strategic vision, China is also leagues ahead. In projection of power, China leads with economy - something Russians don't even understand,