Russia and China are the countries that border the most nations, and they each border 14 nations. Many of these countries have signed legal treaties with the bordering countries that allow them to trade with each other and grant legal visas to each other’s citizens.
However, sharing borders comes with a unique set of legal challenges, especially for the countries mentioned. Having so many bordering countries can lead to complex diplomatic and economic relationships impacting international law.
Besides diplomatic hurdles, bordering multiple countries brings about security challenges, necessitating extensive border control measures.
Table of Contents
Which Countries Border Russia?
The following nations share borders with Russia:
- North Korea
As with any country that shares a border or two with other sovereign nations, Russia has a complex relationship with several of the countries mentioned.
As of the date of this article, tensions between Russia and Ukraine have brewed since 2014 when the former annexed Crimea, a part of Ukraine’s territory leading up to 2014. The annexation has brewed much hostility between the two nations.
Apprehensive of Russia’s aggression, Ukraine (and even Georgia) have strived for inclusion into NATO, which Russia deems a threat. This worsened Ukraine-Russia tensions, causing the tension between the two nations to escalate into a full-blown armed conflict in early 2022.
Border disputes are ongoing with Norway and Lithuania. As we speak, conflict continues with Ukraine over Russia’s annexation of Crimea and backing of separatists. With these ongoing conflicts, Russia finds itself between the proverbial “rock and a hard place” in securing its vast borders.
Belarus is Russia’s closest ally while Mongolia and China have more distant relations. Russia enjoys a modicum of support from some Central Asian nations that, in turn, rely on Russia economically.
Which Countries Border China?
China shares its borders with the following countries:
- North Korea
Despite pursuing strategic partnerships with its neighbors, China is also at the epicenter of numerous border and territorial disputes. For one, tensions are high with India over disputed territories along the Sino-Indian Border.
Border conflicts have also flared with Vietnam. Since the late 70s, the two nations have been locked in a struggle for control of the Shicheng Dahan Peak tripoint.
Of the countries mentioned, only Myanmar and North Korea are allies. Although China has no disputes between Bhutan and Nepal, the relationships between these countries are neutral.
Of late, China has worked to resolve land disputes with Russia and many countries in Central Asia. Nevertheless, challenges remain like illegal border crossings from North Korea.
At sea, China seeks regional influence, claiming territorial rights in the Western Pacific Ocean. This has resulted in further tensions between countries claiming similar rights to the area, such as Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
Borders, Opportunities, and Challenges
In conclusion, Russia and China’s extensive borders of 14 nations each lead to complex diplomatic, security, and economic situations.
With so many neighbors, both countries face ongoing challenges related to border security, territorial disputes, regional influence, and bilateral relations.