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Keeping Eyes to the East Update - Joint Russia/China Exercises

AP: Chinese, Russian Troops Join War Games

"SHANGHAI, China - Nearly 9,000 Russian and Chinese troops began a mock assault on the beaches of northern China Tuesday in the final stage of unprecedented joint war games between the two former Cold War rivals.
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The live-fire exercise, dubbed "Peace Mission 2005," involves about 7,000 Chinese troops and 1,800 Russians, along with warships, warplanes and amphibious tanks.

Operations began with a simulated naval blockade off the coast of the Shandong Peninsula in the Yellow Sea, southeast of Beijing, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported. Chinese state television showed ships and warplanes firing missiles and rockets while military music blared from shipboard speakers.

Chinese participants included three destroyers, three frigates and one submarine, along with naval aircraft, Xinhua said. They were joined by an anti-submarine vessel, missile destroyer, helicopters and a surveillance plane from the Russian navy, it said.

Top Chinese and Russian generals have sought to reassure the region that the exercises aren't directed against any third nation. Under the fictional scenario for the exercises, the forces have a U.N. mandate to stabilize a country plunged into violence by ethnic strife.

Yet Chinese media have also said the exercises are intended to advertise China's determination to deal with regional terrorist, extremist and separatist threats — the last a likely reference to self-governing Taiwan, which China has vowed to reclaim by force if necessary.

The games "will frighten the three evil forces of 'ethnic separatism, religious extremism and international terrorism,'" Maj. Gen. Peng Guanglian, a frequent hardline critic of Taiwan and the United States, was quoted as saying in an interview with the Shanghai's Oriental Morning Post.

The eight-day exercises were inaugurated last week in the Russian port of Vladivostok; they end Thursday.

The war games reflect strengthening ties between Russia and China over shared concerns about U.S. dominance of world affairs. U.S. officials have said they are watching the exercises closely and hope they will help support regional stability.


As I posted here, this growing and expanding Sino-Russia cooperation is a growing area of concern for the US and one that cannot be ignored as it has been except for sporatic reporting.

Specifically, the following sentence alerts us to the fact that both China and Russian resent US power and dominance on the world stage.

"The war games reflect strengthening ties between Russia and China over shared concerns about U.S. dominance of world affairs. U.S. officials have said they are watching the exercises closely and hope they will help support regional stability."

Unfortunately, for US Officials, if true that they are "hoping" for the best, this is whistling in the dark. These exercises are in direction relation to the threat of US intervention in the event of a Chinese mainland attack of Taiwan.

Again, I mentioned in this post about Bill Gertz's article - "Chinese Dragon Awakes" in the Washington Times about China's unnoticed miliary buildup.

His article tells us that military analysis are getting real concerned that this buildup is a prelude to an invasion of Taiwan. The US has vowed to defend a Chinese attack.

Back on 30 April 2001, Mr. Gertz wrote that, "The Russians have been practicing nuclear intervention against the U.S. troops on Taiwan in a mock nuclear conflict between China and the United States over Taiwan. During these strategic exercises they included Russian preparations to use nuclear weapons on U.S. forces in Asia."

As I've said before. While we fight a GWOT, we cannot ignore more conventional threats. We need to keep a careful eye on the east.

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