The new China-Russia axis: The name of the game is powerplay

Lalit Shastri

Russia and China should join their efforts in facing modern challenges as common position of both countries stabilizes the international situation. – Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces General Valery Gerasimov

The US Senate on Thursday passed a Bill that provides sanctions against Russia for activities concerning cyber security, crude oil projects, financial institutions, corruption, human rights abuses, evasion of sanctions, transactions with Russian defense or intelligence sectors, export pipelines, privatization of state-owned assets by government officials, and arms transfers to Syria.

US President Donald J Trump

Now the ball is in the US President Donald Trump’s court and he is under pressure to act vis-a-vis Russia. It remains to be seen whether he will put his stamp or prefer to veto it.

Coinciding with this development, a news titled “Helping Russia cope with impact of proposed US sanctions can benefit all parties” published by the Chinese State sponsored Global Times on Thursday said: “For China, it is worth considering providing assistance to Russia, which faces potential fresh sanctions from the US. Earlier this week, the US House of Representatives voted to impose further sanctions on Russia, a move that worsened the already poor bilateral relationship and added uncertainty to the global economy.


China has repeatedly indicated its opposition to unilateral sanctions that could increase tension. As for new US sanctions, China may need to provide support to Russia, both psychologically and materially, to prevent any further deterioration of the situation.

Earlier in the first week of July, the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces – First Deputy Defence Minister General of the Army Valery Gerasimov, while welcoming participants of the III Russia-China Scientific Conference, had said that Russia and China should join their efforts in facing modern challenges as common position of both countries stabilizes the international situation.

According to General of the Army Valery Gerasimov, consolidated position of both countries stabilizes the international situation. Both countries should close up their positions concerning global and regional security. He further said, annual meetings of Russian and Chinese historians promote objective assessment of events of the World War II. These meetings are aimed to commemorate merits of people in fighting fascism, to counter falsification of the history, to promote patriotism, humanism and mutual confidence.

“Combat friendship and mutual assistance during the war years built a strong fundament for the modern Russian-Chinese relations, including the military sphere. Today we still need to strengthen mutual trust, to fight extremism, expansion of weapons of mass destruction and to contribute to fight against the current threat to humanity –terrorism”, noted the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

MALABAR-17 -Indian Naval ships

Even as the Russian and Chinese top brass were talking of combat friendship during the Second World War and the present need to strengthen mutual trust, Naval co-operation between India, US and Japan touched a new level with the 21st edition of the exercise, MALABAR-17 that was conducted in the Bay of Bengal from 10 to 17 July 2017. The primary aim of this exercise was to increase interoperability among the three navies as well as develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations.



As if not to be left behind, China and Russia also completed a week-long phase one of their joint naval drills code named “Joint Sea 2017” in the Baltic Sea on 27 July 2017. During the drill, two tactical assault groups, consisting of mixed warships from the Chinese and Russian fleets, conducted a string of joint exercises, including ship-to-sea firing by secondary guns, air defense, landing and inspection, maritime search and rescue, dry cargo replenishment and shipwreck relief, according to Xinhua, the official press agency of the People’s Republic of China.

 

 

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