I would agree pre-war but after this defeat of France in its aspirations and continued threat by Germany, France cannot go back. Longer term we might see the French left soften the hate and seek rapprochement. Especially as Germany may liberalize and come to be SPD led for decades, Center adding a Catholic commonality too, but would not Russia also liberalize rather than remain autocratic?This does depend on whether France wants to continue being allies with Russia I think. There were strains starting to show, and France may decide after a stalemated war that Russia is not worth putting up with Tsarist autocracy and the risk of getting dragged into a Russo-German war. Especially if France retains a strong alliance with the UK in this scenario (possible, since in this scenario the UK won't spaz out in fear of France dominating the continent like Napoleon 2.0).
Well, Manchuria is big, and both Japan and Russia recognized that fighting each-other was not a useful use of resources after the Russo-Japanese war.
They may fight over Manchuria, but I do think a partition or co-dominium is more likely.
Despite the enduring antipathy between the French and British, the UK needs France as the bulwark, and to provide the cannon fodder to man that rampart. I find it a struggle to drive France and Britain apart with Germany holding itself as their Big Bad. Eventually the French may come to regard the war as a cruel British plot to destroy their independence and subjugate them to British interests. You decide if it is the right or left that vilifies the British as the conspiracy that dragged poor France to war only to end up in debt and dependent. Surviving Kaiserreich complicates the narrative, France is a loser, they simply avoided the execution, yet the sword hangs perilous. Should be an interesting warp to French politics that are already not simple. And Germany has fulfilled the Prophesy, Napoleon with a German costume change.
Only if Jap[an can accept commercial condominium, but I fear Japan does have conquest in its heart, it wants mastery not profit, and I say that cynically realizing the war on China may wholly be the design of the biggest trade clans using the Army to wedge open their entry.
I fully respect your vision but I tend to find the friction hard to escape. What I find so interesting is just how badly written Russia is. The USSR is a hackneyed cut-and-paste of Tsarist Russia. Tsar equals Communist Party Chief, aristocracy equals Communist Party Officialdom, Religion equals Ideology, masses and resources exploited to sustain the elite versus benefit the people, if it were an ATL we would roll our eyes. Yet the USSR seems to behave too often like an Imperial Russia 2.0. Motivations changed but there is still the insatiable appetite to swallow more territory whilst incapable of developing what they already have. Russia behaved like a farmer who uses his cash to buy another farm instead of fertilizer, uses his cash to buy another farm instead of another tractor, on and on, expanding endlessly and not investing to farm the land he has. I do not see a reason for them to bother with self-improvement when their course always seems to bite off more. My bet is that White or Red or Pink or Blue or any flavor at all, the Russians cannot abide to let Japan grow into Manchuria, instead they must expand into China despite the distraction it is. And Japan cannot simply sell goods for cash to buy materials, it must possess them, the two powers are doomed to collide in China in my opinion. But I am looking for a break in this determinist path.
Will the USA arise to meddle in China enough to sustain the Enemy of my Enemy and My Enemy are My Friend "logic" to have both Russia and Japan partner to oppose the USA? Why does Russia care if the USA wants to squeeze the Japanese neck until they tap out? A non-Communist Russia is going to happily spend US Dollars and allow American profits in China and at home. I look forward to your driver for a Russo-Japanese alliance. I find their friction too compelling. After the 21 Demands Japan revealed its ambitions and threat to all others in China. I can keep the AJA on life support but have not found the way for Imperial Japan to actually be a trusted ally of anyone.