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DECEMBER 2021

Russia-China Conduct Joint Naval Exercises In Response To AUKUS/QUAD Provocations

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Russia-China Conduct Joint Naval Exercises In Response To AUKUS/QUAD Provocations

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Japan’s limited sovereignty over the Tsugaru Strait leaves it exposes.

Written by Paul Antonopoulos, independent geopolitical analyst

Interactions between the Russian and Chinese navies have special significance after the US, UK and Australia indirectly announced their aim to put pressure on both countries and turn the Asia-Pacific region into an Anglo lake. Facing an unprovoked threat, Moscow and Beijing are demonstrating their cooperation to jointly protect their interests against foreign provocateurs.

Russian and Chinese naval ships for the first time in history passed through the Tsugaru Strait between Honshu and Hokkaido in northern Japan, which connects the Sea of Japan with the Pacific Ocean. The two navies carried out joint training and tactical exercises. During the voyage, the ships covered more than 1,700 nautical miles.

For many years, the US Navy and its allies have conducted unilateral or multilateral patrols in international waters. In recent years, the Chinese Navy has also coordinated with partners, such as the Vietnamese Navy to conduct a number of joint patrols in the Gulf of Tonkin where the two countries share a common maritime border that has been demarcated in an agreement since 1999. The Vietnamese Navy also coordinates with the Cambodian and Thai Navies to conduct joint patrols in some areas in the Gulf of Thailand.

From the Russian and Chinese perspective, the recent joint naval exercise is a message that both countries want to send to AUKUS and their peripheral allies. The joint exercises took place in the context of the US and its NATO allies increasing anti-Russian activities, such as military exercises close to the Russian border. This has caused diplomatic issues, with Moscow suspending the work of its official mission to NATO in Brussels.

In the East, the US, along with its fellow Anglo allies Britain and Australia, signed the AUKUS treaty, forming an alliance to contain China in the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans. AUKUS is also alongside the QUAD formation that comprises of the US, Japan, India, and Australia. Due to the emergence of AUKUS and QUAD, Beijing and Moscow are finding that their partnership must have a stronger military element if they want to be able to push back Washington-instigated aggression. This too of course is especially important for Russia as it mostly faces pressure from its Western borders, and will certainly not want a new pressure front on its East.

Talking about a close military alliance between Moscow and Beijing at this point may be premature though. Although the US and its allies have not yet made a definite military move against both countries, the unusual increase in naval activities in the Western Pacific has forced both countries to take action. The fact that the Russian-Chinese joint patrol took place right after the “Sea Cup” competition, which had the participation of Vietnam, Russia, China, Azerbaijan, Iran, Myanmar, and Kazakhstan and was within the framework of the “Army Games 2021”, signals that they want to warn their adversaries that they are fully prepared to take action to defend their sovereignty.

The joint Russian-Chinese maneuvers are also a signal to Washington that its policy of attempting to manipulate Russia against China or enticing China against Russia, like Richard Nixon did during the Vietnam War years, is impossible. However, it is not excluded that if the US and the West continue to increase their hostile activities against Russia and China, causing more tension, Moscow and Beijing could increase the level of their political and military links to eliminate threats emanating from common adversaries.

The AUKUS bloc was created to put pressure on China in the Asia-Pacific region, but it can easily extend to include Russia’s East. In such a situation, it is important to demonstrate that Moscow and Beijing are willing to cooperate and jointly protect their interests. The joint patrol by the Russian and Chinese fleets in the Pacific Ocean is one form of that.

By also sailing through the Tsugaru Strait, Russia and China are also sending a warning to Japan that they will utilize every advantage available if AUKUS or QUAD escalate tensions. Tokyo only claims three-nautical miles in the Tsugaru Strait instead of a 12-nautical mile maritime boundary as permitted by international law. This situation emerged during the Cold War so that US nuclear-armed vessels could pass through the strait, cutting travel time between the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Japan without violating Japan’s “Non-Nuclear Principles.” Japan does not permit nuclear weapons on its territory, including its maritime space.

However, this arrangement also means that all navies from across the world can pass through the Strait, therefore coming within touching distance of Honshu and Hokkaido islands. Whilst Japan is a willing participant of the anti-China QUAD formation and will surely assist AUKUS in their activities, they have left themselves vulnerable just for the sake of accommodating US nuclear vessels.

With the Pacific region heating up as the Anglo alliance continues to pressure Russia and China, both countries are now making bold steps to demonstrate that they are more than willing to defend their sovereignty, so-much-so that they will conduct joint exercises together in not only a show of force, but to also expose the vulnerability of Japan.

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L du Plessis

The US is Checkmated 😂.

Garga

The joint Russian-Chinese navies didn’t just pass through Tsugaru strait (Honshu-Hokkaido) but also Osumi strait (Kyushu-southern smaller islands) after they circled Japan’s eastern shores.
This is a big deal but nothing the empire can’t fix.
How hard do you think it is for the US to order Japan to forget about their ban of nuclear weapons on their territory?
Funny is, the Americans threw a much larger hissy fit than the Japanese. Nonetheless, until the “fix” comes through the same principal which the US is trying to impose on the Peter the Great bay can also be applied -much better- to the Wakasa bay with a mouth 70KM wide.
The best options American have is to reverse Japan’s demilitarization and I think they’ll go down this path.

That being said, there’s a much bigger threat in the Caucasus that will bring NATO right to the Caspian sea which means threat to Iran from north, to Russia from south and to China from east. Ever wondered how on earth NATO plans to challenge China? Of course they might be able to do it from the sea or from their vassals (SK, Japan, down under) but is it enough, considering China planned to establish a land route just to counter that and the PLAN is strong enough to not let it happen?
And sabre-rattling from the west towards Russia just doesn’t cut it. No, they planned a much bigger threat by expanding NATO to include Aliyev’s regime and also Kazakhstan.
Are you getting why the Zangezur corridor (by capturing southern Armenia) is not just a threat to Iran? Rest assured, as soon as Aliyev-Erdogan manage to carve Syunik (or part of it) out of Armenia, Aliyev’s regime will be admitted to NATO. Right now the British are pressuring Armenia into accepting a land swap with an icing of a few billion dollars to complete this part of the scheme. Bye-bye North-South corridor. Then they’ll focus in the Arctics.
Trade and transportation is of the least important for Erdo-liyev because they were doing it for 3 decades through Iran and Georgia. Pan Turanism might be just a distraction, the real danger is NATO in the heartland.

I hope China-Iran-Russia to have a plan of their own. We can’t count on any other country, least of all India, Turkey and Aliyev’s regime.

Last edited 1 month ago by Garga
block

Good info. Knowing the Chinese, OBOR is a flexible concept. With support from Russia and another dozen nations, overland routes can be modified as required, countries removed from the equation etc.

The Chinese always have the advantage over western nations. Efficiency, manpower, technological superiority etc. Take a look at the Hong Kong, Zhuhai, Macau infrastructure project.

Last edited 1 month ago by block
Garga

The problem isn’t efficiency or manpower or technology. The Empire seeks chaos and instability for the nations it perceives as its rivals. They spend huge amounts of resources just for that while their own nation is crumbling.

NATO in the heartland or Caspian spells headache for all of us.

Edmund

Russia and China will never allow Kazakhstan to be overtaken by the Empire.

NorthernLights

This AUKUS deal with British nuclear subs tech to Australia has huge potential to end up a classic military procurement boondoggle. So far all it has achieved is screwing up the existing French deal. Consider, that for US and UK to build their nuclear subs, it takes in US around 7 years, and in UK around 10 years, to fully complete each unit on the production line. That is with their available infrastructure and online production capacity. Now consider, the tech transfer being sold to Australia, who will have to first build the infrastructure and online production facilities, to even start the sub project. Further consider, Australia is a completely non-nuclear facility country. Sure, they will get technical assistance, but given that will be British, after the facilities are up and running, it will take another decade, if very lucky and it mostly runs smoothly, to build first the sub from scratch. There will be many governments. politicians and bureaucrats, that come and go, in the Australian electoral cycles of next decades, as this project unfolds.

Last edited 1 month ago by NorthernLights
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