China-Russia ties safeguard global security

By Chen Yu Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/29 21:28:40

Photo: Xinhua

China's State Council Information Office Wednesday issued China's National Defense in the New Era, a white paper on national defense. 

For the first time, the white paper described "building a new-model security partnership featuring equality, mutual trust, and win-win cooperation." It focused on the global security as Western countries use unilateralism and hard power to resolve problems. Such methods run counter to China's goal of building a community with a shared future for mankind. 

The security partnership in the white paper offers a new explanation of the Asian security concept raised in 2014 by Chinese President Xi Jinping. This partnership counteracts rising unilateralism and hegemony in the world. As global security faces new challenges, China proposed the new-model security partnership, which shows the country's responsibility as a major power.

When describing military relationships between major countries, according to the white paper, the one between China and Russia "continues to develop at a high level, enriching the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era and playing a significant role in maintaining global strategic stability." The relationship has become a leading example of how major powers can work together.  

During the Cold War, there were disputes between China and the Soviet Union. But today, many previous conflicts, including border disputes, have been resolved. China and Russia share a long border yet are not hostile toward each other. 

Both countries have jointly participated in a series of military cooperation and have continuously developed their military ties. 

The two countries have dialogue mechanisms. They participate in joint military exercises, computer-simulated anti-missile exercises, and both conduct peacekeeping operations worldwide. To say that Beijing and Moscow's military relationship "continues to develop at a high level" is in accordance with reality.

Before the paper was released, China's People's Liberation Army Air Force and the Russian Air Force for the first time conducted strategic bomber patrol drills in Northeast Asia. Western analysts said the action was aimed at challenging the US as well as Washington's alliance system in the Asia-Pacific region. The opinion is misleading. 

China has stressed repeatedly that the development of China-Russia relations, including military ties, is not aimed at any third-party countries. The joint military exercises in the Asia-Pacific region between the US and its allies far exceed that of China and Russia in scale and frequency. The bomber patrol drills carried out by Beijing and Moscow were aimed at maintaining international security and strengthening coordination between the two armies.

Japan and South Korea reacted strongly to the bomber drills. The US "strongly supports" the two's responses to "air space incursions by Chinese and Russian aircraft," said Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Dave Eastburn. The three countries tend to regard the development of China-Russia relations as a threat and some Western observers said how the three countries may jointly counteract will be the focus in Northeast Asia. 

Yet given the ongoing internal disputes among the US, Japan and South Korea, such as the recent trade row between Tokyo and Seoul, Japan and South Korea might not want to place all of its hope on the US.

China and Russia have upgraded relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era, while their military relationship has also entered a new phase. 

Take the Afghanistan issue. The stability of Afghanistan directly concerns the security and stability of Central Asia, a region where Beijing and Moscow share great strategic interests. China and Russia can safeguard Central Asia stability under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

The US withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia and the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between Russia and the US will expire in 2021. The stability and balance of the global nuclear situation may thus be challenged. As China and Russia share common interests in the nuclear arena, the two countries should coordinate their position and protect international peace and security. China and Russia should consider expanding the scale of their joint military exercises while voicing their opinions on global issues.

The author is an assistant research fellow at the Institute of Eurasian Studies of China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.


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