Pentagon Blues: US Worried by China’s Growing Military Cooperation With Russia
Pentagon Blues: US Worried by China’s Growing Military Cooperation With Russia from Sputnik News
During a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Chang Wanquan on Wednesday, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu suggested that the two countries ink a roadmap on military cooperation for 2017-2020.
“Our experts have prepared a roadmap for the development of the military sector between Russia and China for 2017-2020. I suggest signing it today,” Shoigu told reporters after meeting with Chang on the fringes of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in the Kazakh capital Astana.
“Russia and China are ready to work together to safeguard peace and strengthen international security,” Shoigu added.
Chang Wanquan mentioned the growing level of trust between the Chinese and Russian militaries with several major joint exercises scheduled to be held before the end of this year,
Even though the two ministers did not elaborate on the actual contents of the roadmap, experts believe that it will be mostly about joint training of Russian and Chinese military personnel, intelligence exchanges and the joint fight against terrorism.
“The roadmap could also outline our joint steps regarding the North Korean nuclear and missile programs, but I don’t think they will tell us exactly what they are going to do about it,” Vasily Kashin, a senior expert at the Institute of the Far East in Moscow, told Sputnik.
“I’m sure that we are going to have more joint exercises and competitions. This summer Chinese military personnel will be taking part in already the third International Army Games organized by the Russian Defense Ministry,” he added.
Russia and China held their first joint military drill in 2005 in China’s Shandong peninsula and in Russia’s Far Eastern port city of Vladivostok. Since then, the two countries have held such joint drills almost on a yearly basis.
Though officially described as antiterrorist, the drills are held on a scale large enough to hold up a foreign armed force, even a formidable one.
Speaking in Astana, Sergei Shoigu said that Russia was ready to share with its SCO partners combat experience obtained during the Syrian campaign. He added that the knowledge of the tactics used by terrorists would ensure a higher level of concerted responses to their attacks.
The Chinese military, which is involved in many international humanitarian and peacekeeping missions, also has something to share with its colleagues from the Shanghai Cooperation organization.
A view from Washington
Alarmed by the growing pace of military cooperation between Russia and China, the Pentagon has released a report saying that in 2020 China will float out an indigenous aircraft carrier and will have a naval base in Djibouti.
The report also warns about Beijing’s plans to set up additional military bases in friendly countries around the globe.
“China most likely will seek to establish additional military bases in countries with which it has a longstanding friendly relationship and similar strategic interests,” said the 97-page report on China’s defense policy, which is issued to Congress every year.
The report also said that the Pentagon estimated China’s defense spending to be around $180 billion, significantly higher than its officially stated budget of $140 billion.
Part of this money will be spent to buy advanced weapons from Russia.
In February, Sergei Shoigu said that China was going to buy S-400 air defense missile systems, Su-35 multirole fighter planes and anti-ship missiles in Russia.