China, Russia see 'no need for military alliance' amid high-level cooperation
Published: Oct 23, 2020 09:33 PM

Russian servicemen take part in military exercises at the Kapustin Yar range in Astrakhan region, Southern Russia during the "Caucasus-2020" military drills gathering China, Iran, Pakistan and Myanmar troops, along with ex-Soviet Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus. Photo: AFP

The military cooperation between China and Russia has been at a high level in recent years, but the two countries do not need a military alliance, as cooperation based on the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination is more conducive for the two sides to jointly participate in global governance to safeguard regional and global security, Chinese analysts said, as a proposition of China-Russia military alliance has become a heated topic.

This comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin said China and Russia don't necessarily need a military union, though it could be possible.

There is no limit to China-Russia friendship and no restricted areas for expanded cooperation. China is ready to continue to enrich the strategic content of our relations, maintain close strategic coordination, and contribute more positive energy to world peace and stability, Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said during Friday's media briefing. 

Zhao's remarks followed Putin's comments at the 17th annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club via video conference on Thursday, in which Putin said that China and Russia don't necessarily need a military union, but it could be a possibility to imagine it. 

Putin praised Russia-China relations and expressed his readiness to deepen bilateral cooperation.

"We have great trust in each other. We have managed to foster very sustainable, reliable, well-functioning ties in different domains and spheres," he said. 

Zhao said Putin has often made positive comments about China-Russia relations at the Valdai Discussion Club in recent years, which reflects the high level and particularity of the bilateral relations.

Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times that China and Russia do not need to build a military alliance, as a cooperative relationship established between two independent states based on national sovereignty and national security demands will have a more healthy and benign development. 

The military cooperation between China and Russia - mainly in military techniques and personnel exchanges - has been taken to a very high level in recent years, Song said. 

Cui Heng, a post-doctoral researcher from the Center for Russian Studies at East China Normal University, told the Global Times Friday that the alliance mode prevailing during the Cold War era has no basis today, and China-US relations and US-Russia relations have not reached a level that one needs to ally with the other.

"Coordination and non-alliance better fits the needs of China and Russia," Cui said.

However, some Western countries fear that China and Russia may forge a military alliance to threaten NATO following repeated hyping of the alliance from Western media since last year. Song believes that a military alliance, like what the US has forged with other countries, is an abnormal military alliance with the US as the leader. It seems like the relations of the allies will get closer under such an alliance, but actually alienates the members, Song said. 

Since this year, Russian political elites and think tanks, through various platforms, revealed their understanding of the current chaotic world order. 

"Russia believes that neither the G2 nor the China-US confrontation is good for Russia, so Russia needs to take the initiative to push for a multipolar world order," Cui said.

Putin's speech on Thursday shows this Russian leader is still confident about the country's strength, Cui said.