As Russian Navy Engages in Joint Exercises with Beijing’s Fleet in the South China Sea, Chinese State Media Uses Term “Alliance”
by James the Russian Analyst
For every action by a weakening hegemon trying to hang on to the illusion of ‘full spectrum dominance’, there is an equal and opposite set of reactions. Jeff J. Brown, a Francophone American expat living in Shenzhen from Oklahoma, has taken note of the upgrading in Chinese state media from describing Beijing’s relationship with Moscow as a “close partnership” to “semi-alliance”.
As the Russian and Chinese navies perform joint exercises in the South China Sea, where a U.S-backed Dutch court recently ruled China has no legitimate claims to the rocks and reefs Beijing sees as strategic to its defense and historically Chinese dating to the 5th century B.C., this shift in China’s stance takes on a new meaning. Those in Washington who believe that all they need to do to restore the unipolarity of a U.S.-led globalist empire is elect Hillary Clinton president had better think again.
The Russia Analyst, being focused on the Russian Federation and Eurasia rather than being a China hand, doesn’t have a lot to add to Mr. Brown’s excellent analysis. However, we can point out a few aspects of the ongoing integration of the Russian and Chinese economies and militaries that are relevant to this 21st century shaping topic. Some of these points have already been mentioned, credit where credit’s due, by a friend of my friend Andre Raevsky aka The Saker, who goes by Larchmonter445 in LC445’s late 2014 white paper, “The China-Russia Double Helix“. But they bear repeating here, in light of the short-termist, propagandistic and academic efforts to ‘debunk’ the Russian-Chinese alliance as a serious thing, and present it as mere posturing against Washington and its re-arming ally in Tokyo.
The Russia-China alliance has also been given more urgency on the part of Moscow and Beijing by the prospect of Hillary Rodham Clinton being the next President of the United States, and the common military and hybrid warfare aka ‘colored revolution‘ and terrorist threats the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and One Belt One Road initiative face as the weakening Empire of Chaos goes for broke.
In preparation for the situation between the U.S./NATO on one side and the Russia-China alliance on the other worsening in 2017-18, what we see happening is:
1) More exercises at sea, on land and soon in the air will enhance inter-operability. During exercises, the process starts with the most basic level of communications, with either English or Russian more likely to be used between the two militaries than Chinese as there are more officers in the People’s Liberation Army/Navy/Air Forces who speak those languages than there are Russian interpreters who speak Chinese attached to Moscow’s military. Using English of course makes it easier for the National Security Agency and its ‘5Eyes’ particularly Australia’s SIGINT collection service to listen in, but that may be intentional. Moscow and Beijing may want the U.S. to know to some extent how rapidly their forces are learning to work with each other, as a deterrent against further aggression.
The Russia Analyst recalls his Russian language classroom in Moscow being nearly half full of students from mainland China. It would not be surprising if by now several years later that some of those Chinese students of the Russian language have returned to their homeland to become translators for the PLA.
2) Identifying synergies between Russian and Chinese weapons systems and enhancing common arms export markets. We already see this trend on the battlefields of the Middle East, where the Iraqi Army and allied Shi’a militias fighting the Islamic State terrorists use a mixture of American, Russian and Chinese equipment, with the new orders skewing towards the Eurasian powers.
— Alcuin Bramerton (@AlcuinBramerton) June 29, 2016
The Iraqis have demonstrated using Chinese developed versions of the U.S. Predator drone while the Russian made Mi-28 ‘Night Hunters’ attack Daesh positions identified using the drones. In Syria, Assad’s Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is using Chinese made electronic warfare and radio detection equipment to identify and target jihadist strong points for air and artillery strikes. The SAA is also using Iranian made Toophan, an Iranian development of the U.S. TOW anti-tank missile with many of the electro-optical/laser range finding systems likely Chinese in origin, via Beijing’s reverse engineering of TOWs the USA provided to China’s ally Pakistan.