As the United States and Russia face a challenging moment, China continues to present itself as an alternative power. Changes in global politics have resulted in increased cooperation between Beijing and Moscow–a shift that has both good and bad implications for U.S.-China relations
China and Russia Military Cooperation Raises Prospect of New Challenge to American Power. Read more in detail here: china news.
According to military analysts, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and China’s President Xi Jinping oversaw an ambitious joint military exercise in China this summer, which, along with reported collaborations in aviation, undersea, and hypersonic-weapons technology, point to a solidifying defense alignment.
Officials in the United States and military experts say it’s impossible to determine the extent of cooperation between two countries that closely regulate information and whose activities are becoming more opaque to outsiders. However, based on recent economic alliances, military exercises, and collaborative defense development, as well as a few public pronouncements from government leaders, Western politicians and defense experts are becoming increasingly persuaded of the tighter connection.
While some US officials have long been wary of the two nations’ combined danger, others are apparently altering their minds. Beijing and Moscow are now more aligned than at any time in the last 60 years, according to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
“They’re unique dangers.” But, because to the partnership, they’ve become intertwined,” said Michael Kofman, a Russian military analyst at CNA, a nonprofit research and analytical organization in Arlington, Va.
Officials in the Biden administration say they’re keeping a careful eye on things, but they’re cautioning against reading too much into steps that are unlikely to blossom into a complete military partnership.
China and Russia, who share a 2,500-mile border, have conflicting interests in Central Asia, India, and the Arctic, preventing them from aligning completely. In addition, unlike nations in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, China and Russia’s military systems are not widely interoperable, limiting the usefulness of a combined command.
According to experts and US officials, US efforts to restrict the two nations have forced them into a marriage of convenience, giving the hitherto enmity rivals a reason to pool resources and information against a shared foe. According to commentators, China and Russia are keen to limit US influence as well as its military and financial might, which they feel will be more possible if they work together.
In June, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi predicted that China and Russia’s relationship will grow to a “greater size, wider area, and deeper level.” Mr. Putin said that ties with China were at an all-time high.
While the United States dealt with the fall of Afghanistan, Chinese and Russian forces conducted military training in northwest China in August. According to commentators, the drills were the first to deploy a combined Russian-Chinese command-and-control system, indicating a growing capacity to cooperate in any prospective attack against the US.
In the Ningxia province, around 13,000 soldiers and hundreds of aircraft, drones, artillery pieces, antiaircraft batteries, and armored vehicles assembled. Wei Fenghe, China’s national defense minister, said the military drills demonstrated a “high degree of growth of inter-army relations.” The two nations conducted cooperative naval maneuvers near Russia’s Far East coast in October.
China and Russia staged joint military drills in China’s Ningxia region in August, according to a picture released by the Russian Defense Ministry.
Associated Press/Savitskiy Vadim/Russian Defense Ministry
The unclassified Worldwide Danger Assessment released by the US intelligence community in 2019 was the first to identify China and Russia as a regional threat together. “We expect them to work together to thwart US aims,” the study said.
Beginning in 2014, relations between China and Russia became more intense as a result of US pressure. In response to the Kremlin’s annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea and fomenting unrest in Ukraine’s east, the US and its allies imposed sanctions on Russian organizations and persons.
President Biden told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a conference call on Thursday that if the Kremlin’s military buildup on Ukraine’s border escalated into an invasion, the US would apply harsh penalties. Mr. Putin said that such penalties would result in a grave break in relations with the United States.
For China, a great-power struggle with the US has been codified by a mix of intensifying US rhetoric, tensions over Chinese military deals in the Middle East and Africa, and a US-UK nuclear submarine treaty with Australia. Beijing’s claims to Taiwan and sections of the South China Sea have heightened tensions, raising the possibility of a military confrontation with the United States.
In October, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov remarked, “There is quite a common ground between Moscow and Beijing in terms of what we despise in Washington’s policy.” “We don’t like how Washington’s approach lacks mutual respect. A dedicated noninterference concept appeals to us. We [Russia and China] are near one other on this terrain.”
In June, a videoconference between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin was shown on a big screen in Beijing.
Reuters photo by tingshu wang
After years of Russian ambivalence on Taiwan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in October that the island country was regarded part of China by the Kremlin.
Increased interaction in commerce, technology, and energy has also been seen as beneficial by Moscow and Beijing. Messrs. Putin and Xi have met more than 30 times in the last six years.
Mr. Kofman, a Russian military specialist, said, “The initial talk was that Russia and China are not going to unite.” “Then there was a discussion about how there looks to be an alignment, but it’s not really important.” Then it progressed to, “There’s an alignment, and it’s important,” but it’s not likely to persist. And now the dialogue has progressed to the next level.”
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Russia was China’s primary weaponry supplier for decades prior to the country’s economic expansion.
Following a period of political strife, the cooperation was rekindled in 2014 when China agreed to purchase Russia’s S-400 sophisticated antiaircraft system. China purchased Russian-made Su-35 jet fighters a year later, enhancing Beijing’s capacity to attack US vessels. The US imposed sanctions on China as a result of these agreements.
During a May 9 celebration in Moscow, Russian S-400 antiaircraft missile systems paraded around Red Square.
Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images/Kirill Kudryavtsev
Mr. Putin said in 2019 that Russia and China were working together to improve China’s antimissile early warning system. He said the next year that Moscow was supporting Beijing’s military with technologies that he couldn’t discuss. Later, Russian official media announced that China and Russia were working on a top-secret submarine together.
China’s development of powerful computer chips provided Russia with access to military technology that were previously unavailable due to Western sanctions.
“You don’t want to be the one opposing the other two in a triangle with three nations,” said Andrea Kendall-Taylor, who worked on Russian matters at the CIA and now works at the Center for a New American Security, a Democrat-leaning national-security think tank in Washington.
In the mid-2000s, the two nations started conducting military drills. The frequency and complexity of these maneuvers has increased, allowing for regular senior-level military interactions, exchanges, and technological collaboration.
This autumn, China and Russia conducted combined naval maneuvers in the Sea of Japan.
RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY PHOTO/REUTERS
Russia welcomed China to its major annual defense drill for the first time in 2018, a year after the two countries inked a memorandum of understanding for military cooperation. The two nations conducted their first coordinated bomber patrols between Japan and the Korean Peninsula the following year, prompting South Korean pilots to fire warning shots.
According to the Russian defense ministry, Russia and China undertook cooperative naval maneuvers in the Sea of Japan in October, when they demonstrated how to jointly eliminate floating enemy mines with artillery fire.
The Russian defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, and his Chinese counterpart, Mr. Wei, conducted a video conference the next month in which the two nations agreed to boost engagement between their armed forces via strategic military exercises and joint patrols.
‘Fundamental leverage’ is a term that refers to a kind of leverage that is
According to official Russian figures, bilateral trade between China and Russia topped $100 billion in the first nine months of 2021, virtually equaling trade for the whole year of 2020. According to Mr. Putin, it hit $123 billion in November.
The first rail bridge linking the two nations, which spans the Amur River in Siberia, was finished in August. By 2025, the $55 billion Power of Siberia pipeline, a 1,865-mile conduit that started operating in 2019, is expected to carry 1.3 trillion cubic feet of Russian natural gas to China.
According to commentators, China and Russia do not have a formal defense alliance and are unlikely to give up any autonomy in exchange for the military and political obligations such an alliance would entail. Nonetheless, the nations’ expanding connections are considered as sufficient to have an influence on US relations.
“Improving China’s relationship with Moscow is important leverage,” said Zhu Feng, head of Nanjing University’s Institute of International Studies. “It’s part of the toolkit for countering America’s containment of China.”
Tensions between the United States and Russia provide cover for China, according to Vasily Kashin, a military expert and China expert at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics. “Without focusing all of its resources on the Pacific, the United States cannot expect to succeed,” he declared. “Russia, along with Iran, is the only country that makes such concentration almost impossible.”
This summer, Russian Sukhoi Su-35 jet jets fired missiles during war simulations in Ryazan, Russia.
Photo credit: Reuters/Maxim Shemetov
Analysts say areas of discord between China and Russia tempt US policymakers with the prospect of creating a wedge between the two nations.
In contrast to Russian objectives, Beijing maintains working connections with Ukraine. Russia severed ties with NATO in October, but China, anxious to advance its Belt and Road programs throughout Europe, continues to collaborate with the organization.
Russia maintains ties with China’s adversaries, Vietnam and South Korea. India, a longstanding Beijing adversary that has purchased the S-400 antiaircraft system, is a significant Russian weapons dealer.
One strategy for dividing the two nations is for the US to soften its stance toward Russia in order to divert Moscow’s attention away from Beijing. According to commentators, however, such a policy is still in its early stages, particularly as the US seems unwilling to give the type of political and economic incentives that might convince Mr. Putin to sever relations with Mr. Xi.
And, with Russian soldiers massing on the Ukrainian border, escalating long-standing tensions between Moscow and Washington, efforts to convince Russia to break its military alliance with China look improbable.
Mr. Kofman said, “You’ll never persuade Russia to make an enemy of a big nation like China.”
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Russia and China have been strengthening military cooperation in recent years. This has raised the prospect of a new challenge to American power. Reference: why is russia so big.
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