China and Russia have stepped up military exercises aimed at unifying foreign policies and countering the West.
Joint exercises between the Chinese and Russian navies in the East China Sea starting this week will “go deeper” cooperation between Moscow and BeijingChina announced.
The drills will be held off the coast of Zhejiang province, south of Shanghai, from Wednesday until next Tuesday, according to a short notice posted Monday by China’s Eastern Theater Command. People’s Liberation Army.
“This joint exercise is intended to demonstrate the determination and ability of the two sides to jointly respond to maritime security threats… and further deepen the comprehensive strategic coordination partnership of the time. China-Russia new period,” the announcement said.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday that ships participating in joint exercises including the missile cruiser Varyag, the destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov and two corvettes of the Russian Pacific Fleet.
The ministry said the Chinese navy plans to deploy several surface ships and a submarine for the exercise, and military aircraft from both sides will participate.
China did not immediately provide information on which units would take part in the exercise, which comes at a time when relations between Moscow and Beijing – while strained by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – remain tense. still strong and China has provided political cover for Russia’s war with its neighbour in the context of international condemnation of Moscow’s aggressive actions.
Russia has also been stronger lately support China in the context of its tension with the US over the Taiwan issue.
Ignoring decades of mutual distrust, China and Russia have stepped up military exercises as part of their foreign policy in recent years against the Western liberal political order. The West is led by the United States.
Along with refusing to criticize Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, or even call it an invasion or war, Beijing has condemned Western sanctions against Moscow, accusing Washington of and NATO provoked Russian President Vladimir Putin into action. China also remains a major customer of Russian oil and gas that is being purchased at highly discounted prices.
According to Julianne Smith, the US ambassador to NATO, Russia and China are also said to be “sharing a toolkit” of approaches and strategies to weaken NATO.
“Those two are increasingly sharing a set of tools that could interest the NATO alliance,” Smith told the Financial Times in an article published on Tuesday.
“No doubt, [People’s Republic of China] and Russia are both working to divide. . . transatlantic partners. And now we’re very conscious, we all appreciate those efforts and intend to address them,” Smith said in an interview.
Smith added: “We’ve seen them share combo tactics. “I think China is watching very closely how Russia relies on disinformation and things like coercion or energy security, malicious or malicious cyber activities,” she said.
NATO lists China for the first time in June as one of the strategic challenges, saying that Beijing’s ambitions and its “coercive policies” undermine the “interests, security and values” of the Western military bloc.
In November, Russian Air Force Tu-95 bombers and Chinese H-6K bombers conducted joint patrols over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea. As part of the exercise, Russian bombers landed in China for the first time, and Chinese bombers flew to an air base in Russia.
In September, China sent more than 2,000 soldiers, more than 300 military vehicles, 21 fighter jets and three warships to participate in a large-scale joint exercise with Russia.
Exercise Vostok 2022 (Winter 2022) takes place in many locations in the Russian Far East and the Sea of Japan and involved more than 50,000 troops and 5,000 weapons units, including 140 aircraft and 60 warships, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.
Last week, China also sent a naval flotilla through the strait near Japan into the Western Pacific as Beijing criticized Tokyo’s adoption of a new national security strategy that puts it in a more offensive position. – largely due to perceived threat from China.