China and Russia have begun their first naval exercises in South China Sea. Though Chinese media is claiming that the joint exercise is being carried out within China’s coastal waters.
This joint exercise by both nation is the signal of a deeper understanding between China and Russia.
The eight-day exercise has been named as Joint Sea-2016.
Russia supported China on South China Sea ruling on ‘legal basis’.Russian president said in G20 summit held in Hangzhou “as far as the Hague Arbitration Court and its rulings are concerned, we agree with and support China’s position to not recognise the court’s ruling.” He added: “And I’ll tell you why. It is not a political but a purely legal position. It is that any arbitration proceedings should be initiated by parties to a dispute while a court of arbitration should hear the arguments and positions of the parties to the dispute. As is known, China did not go the Hague Court of Arbitration and no one there listened to its position. So, how can these rulings be deemed fair? We support China’s position on the issue.”
According to Chinese navy the eight-day exercise includes “live-fire drills, sea crossing and island landing operations, and island defense and offense exercises by marine corps.
Aside from the marines, Chinese and Russian surface ships, submarines, planes, helicopters and amphibious armored equipment would be used, Liang said.
“Russia has sent some of its best vessels, including the Ropucha-class landing ship, and the Udaloy-class destroyer” to participate in the exercises, according to Chinese state-run broadcaster CCTV.
The 7,500-ton Udaloy-class destroyers are designed for anti-submarine warfare, while the 4,000-ton Ropucha-class landing ships are designed to carry up to 24 armored vehicles directly onto beaches.
The Pentagon revealed that China was deploying new military and nuclear capabilities in the face of growing advances in US and Russia. India’s nuclear force is also a major reason behind China’s steps towards modernizing its nuclear force.
In a report to the US Congress, the Pentagon Report revealed that China was deploying new command and control systems and communication capabilities to its nuclear defence forces to control multiple-units In the field. The new technologies are being set up with an aim to counter the US and other countries’ ballistic missile defence system including manoeuvrable re-entry vehicles (MaRVs), MIRVs, decoys, chaff, jamming, and thermal shielding.
China has also increased its troop along Indian border and is setting up military bases in various parts of the world, particularly with its longstanding friend Pakistan. Pakistan remains China’s major market for conventional weapons. China is involved in both arms sales and defense industrial cooperation with Pakistan, including LY-80 surface-to-air missile systems, main battle tank production, air-to-air missiles, and anti-ship cruise missiles.
The Pentagon report said that despite India-China’s strengthening political-economic relationship, “tensions remain along disputed portions of the Sino-Indian border, where both sides patrol with armed forces.” After a five-day military standoff in September 2015, at Burtse in Northern Ladakh, China and India held had agreed to maintain peace, and retreated to mutually acceptable positions to both sides.
With the emerging military might of China and its growing economic dominance in the world, it will be interesting to see how the major powers of the world will respond. If a tit-for-tat strategy is adopted then the world is slowly moving towards another era of arm’s race.
Russia called on Syria to hand over its chemical weapons arsenal to international authorities as prelude to the arsenal’s destruction. The Syrian foreign minister immediately “welcomed” the demand. The turn in Russian pomposity was variously depicted as a “stalling tactic” to put off US military strikes and maybe a shift in the world order.
Russia has its own interest in protecting Syria as Russia has a naval installation in Syria, which is strategically important and Russia’s last foreign military base outside the former Soviet Union. Also Russia is a major exporter of military products to Syria.
The twist in the Syria debate originated with apparently offhand remarks by US secretary of state John Kerry. In a London news conference, Kerry said Assad could avoid strikes by surrendering control of “every single bit” of his arsenal to the international community by the end of the week.
Meanwhile the developing economies such as India, which are already facing a weakening currency due to Federal Reserve’s withdrawal of dollar liquidity; will face severe impact if the war occurs. Syria itself produces very little oil, but its’ neighboring countries produce a lot. The fear is that these neighboring countries could get dragged into the conflict, and oil production and export may be interrupted. Iran is one of the Syrian government’s main sources of weapons, while Saudi Arabia (along with Qatar) is arming the rebels.
Many analysts see the Syrian conflict as a proxy war between these two countries. If the oil imports become expensive for the developing country, the current account deficit may shoot up as the demand for oil is inelastic. This would mean a higher inflation, and possibly precipitate stagflation in developing economies such as India.