Russia, China Give World a Glimpse of What WWIII Could Look Like
Biden's diplomatic failure in Afghanistan and Ukraine is being felt by world
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Russia and China are not natural allies and some geopolitical observers say it is remarkable that the countries have developed such a close relationship in such a relatively short amount of time.
On Tuesday, in a remarkable show of unity, the two countries flew strategic bombers over the Sea of Japan— just outside Japanese and South Korean air defense zones— in what Reuters called a “pointed farewell to U.S. President Joe Biden as he concluded a trip to Asia.”
One U.S. official tried to use the joint exercise as an example of why India should not rely on Moscow.
“It also shows that Russia will stand with China in the East and South China Seas, not with other Indo-Pacific states,” the official told The Financial Times.
Russia said in a statement that the bombers — Tu-95MS strategic missile carriers and Chinese H-6 bombers — did not break international law. Japan's Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said during a news conference that “the fact that this action was taken during the Quad summit makes it more provocative than in the past.”
“As the international community responds to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the fact that China took such action in collaboration with Russia, which is the aggressor, is cause for concern. It cannot be overlooked,” he said.
Japan and South Korea said they scrambled fighter jets after at least four Chinese and four Russian warplanes in response.
(The Quad summit is held among the U.S., Australia, Japan, and India…and its mission is to counter China in the Pacific region. Biden, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and Australia’s Anthony Albanese, met in Tokyo on Tuesday.)
Despite the weeks of pressure from the U.S. and European countries, Beijing has refused to criticize Russia and has, instead, blamed the West for having set the stage for the war. China said in March that it would like to bring its relationship with Russia to “a higher level.”
“The Ukrainian issue… is not only the outbreak of the long term accumulation of security conflicts in Europe but also the result of the Cold War mentality and group confrontation,” Wang Yi, China’s foreign minister, said at the time. “In the long run, we should learn the lessons of the Ukraine crisis, respond to the legitimate security concerns of all parties based on the principles of mutual respect and indivisibility of security.”
China is Russia’s top trade partner with total trade last year jumping 35.9 percent to a record $146.9 billion. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited China in March and described a new “world order.”
"We, together with you [China], and with our sympathizers will move towards a multipolar, just, democratic world order," Lavrov said in a video statement.
A senior U.S. official told Reuters that the exercise, which was the first since the 24 February invasion of Ukraine, is likely a message from China that it will not walk away from Russia.
“Instead, the exercise shows that China is ready to help Russia defend its east while Russia fights in its west,” the official said.
Gerald Celente, the publisher of The Trends Journal, spoke with Gordon Chang in April and the China-expert said Beijing gave the green light for Russia to invade Ukraine, and supported Russia’s war effort with “elevated commodity purchases.”
Japan, like Taiwan, is watching the events in Ukraine unfold while considering their neighbor China and their own security if Beijing ever decides to act militarily in the region.
Fumio Kishida, the Japanese prime minister, summed up his government's fears a few weeks ago during a visit in London with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He told reporters that Ukraine could very well be “East Asia tomorrow.”
Tokyo is trying to get a read on what the Biden administration would do if China invades. Japan has been more vocal about its support of Taipei in recent years.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told the Associated Press late last year that there will be no concessions when it comes to China’s security and “no one should underestimate the strong determination, firm will and strong ability of the Chinese people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
TRENDPOST: Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Beijing to help Chinese President Xi Jinping kick off the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics was viewed by many in the media as an effort by the two to show a united front against the West.
Robert Daly, the director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, at the Wilson Center in Washington, told The New Yorker that the pledge between the two countries illustrates that they will stand “shoulder to shoulder against America and the West, ideologically as well as militarily.”
“This statement might be looked back on as the beginning of Cold War II,” he said.