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,






Aswin Hanagal, Graduate Student at Texas A&M University (2018-present)

China is significantly stronger than Russia from a soft power point of view

  1. Tech: Shenzhen, your phone is probably made there… silicon valley of hardware and a gigantic maker scene besides Chinese internet companies which are massive due to 560 million internet users
  2. Cultural: the Dalian Wanda group owns US studios such as legendary pictures and AMC obviously meaning that China will be marketed and portrayed positively in movies (I don't have a negative view on them btw) and this will lead to an improved reputation for china, of course there is also… the Chinese market for films
  3. Education: Tsinghua is the 25th best university in the world for example, I am not sure if Russia can boast this, besides the rigour of Asian education systems (like Chinese gaokao exam for example)

Now one last thing…

The military of Russia is possibly better than china with more R&D and better equipment, china has a numerical advantage of troops


  1. 科技:深圳,你的手机可能就是在那里制造的……除了中国互联网公司之外,这里还有硬件硅谷和庞大的制造链,中国互联网公司规模庞大,拥有5.6亿互联网用户。
  2. 文化:大连万达集团拥有一些美国工作室,如传奇影业和AMC,很显然这意味着中国将积极进军电影行业(顺便说一句,我对他们没有偏见哈),这将帮助中国提升名气,当然还有中国的电影市场。
  3. 教育:清华大学是世界上排名第25的一流学府。例如,除了亚洲教育系统的严苛(比如中国的高考),我不确定俄罗斯在这方面有没有引以为荣的学校。




Sreenath Narayanan,

I am bit surprised the way some people supporting for China. I would say its something stupid.

In terms of technology China is not even top in the Asian continent  itself. They are much far behind Japan,South Korea,Taiwan or Singapore. Economical terms too story remains same. Chinese technology has even got an inferior image in any part of world.

Yeah the only thing they have got is a hell kind of troops and arms. And the present status what they enjoying (which includes veto power) is what they sow in past. In short China is just a country which lives by reaping its historic value.





Greg Brecht, Writer, Floridian, Adjunct professor, Liberal.

This depends on what you mean by “stronger.”

Russia is twice China’s size in geographical terms. Russia is far richer in minerals, energy, forests, and water.

China has almost ten time as many people. China has better universities, and seems generally to have many more entrepreneurs. China has developed a far better infrastructure, a far larger, far more efficient and more technologically advanced manufacturing base.

China has the world’s second largest economy. Russia is behind South Korea, Brazil and India, and just ahead of Spain, Australia and Mexico. China is far, far stronger.

About the only way Russia is stronger that China is in the size of its nuclear arsenal and the strength of its missile delivery system. At the moment, Russian air power may be better than China’s, but this is quickly changing. The Chinese navy is probably already stronger, except in nuclear powered submarines.

If I were Russia, I’d be a bit worried. Big chunks of the Russian maritime provinces were not so long ago in the Chinese sphere of influence. Call it all of the area between Lake Baikal and the Pacific. The Chinese might someday want it back. The Chinese are also showing a lively interest in the Arctic.








Satish Dubey,

If military power is what we are comparing, in my opinion, Russia is many times more powerful than China. Russia has been one of the original designer and developer for many world class weapon systems (for use on land, air, and water) and has been selling them to other countries for many years now. China, though it has the largest armed forces in the world, packs more gas than fire power!!! Russia is the only formidable competition to the United States when it comes to military power.

If we consider money or economic power, then China seems more powerful than Russia. In fact, the economic clout of China scares even the Americans. Chinese investment in US Treasury Bonds is over 1 Trillion Dollars - that’s almost 7% of US National Debt and around 20% of US Debt held overseas!!! Most of the American manufacturing is dependent on China.

BTW - Russia and China have very friendly relations (so despite the difference in their military power, a war between these 2 countries is not expected).


如果我们考虑金钱或经济实力,那么中国似乎比俄罗斯更强大。事实上,中国的经济影响力甚至吓到了美国人。中国对美国国债的投资超过了1万亿美元——几乎占到了美国国债的7%,占到海外持有的美国国债的20% !美国的制造业大多严重依赖于中国。


 译文来源:三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/49632.html 译者:Joyceliu


William Hennigan, lived in China

Powerful in what way?

They are apples and oranges.

Militarily; China has more bodies and more willing to accept high mortality, but Russia has battle hardened smaller army with superior fighting capability.

Economically; with oil down and the sanctions in place Russia is hurting, but China is very dependent on export business, but is more powerful economically.





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