Theoretical framework of China-Russia cooperation can be found in the concepts like strategic convergence, threat-interest model, balancing of threat and alliance formation principles (see Stephen Walt).
Since the establishment of Sino-Russian diplomatic relations in 1992, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the two countries have officially established the coequal partnership policy.
The elevation of the partnership between China and Russia indicates ever-closer cooperation in bilateral relations in the post-Cold War era. In order to streamline the conditions of partnership evolution, the Sino-Russian relations can be divided into seven consecutive phases thus far:
- the transition period, 1990-1993, from the collapse of Soviet Union to “reborn” Russia
- the 1994 simple partnership, when “constructive partnership” was set up,
- the 1996 the security partnership, when China and Russia established a strategic partnership after Primakov became the Foreign Minister of Russia
- the 2001–2004 economic partnership, when the Treaty of Good Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation were signed
- the 2010 full partnership, when China and Russia upgraded their partnership to a comprehensive strategic partnership, when Putin’s Edicts 2012 redirected Russia’s focus
- the 2014 upgraded full partnership, when the New Comprehensive Strategic Partnership agreement was signed by Putin and Xi
- the 2019, decision by Putin and Xi to upgrade their relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era