China-Russia military cooperation road map can cool down hot heads in US: scholars
Published: Nov 24, 2021 08:53 PM
China Russia Photo:VCG

China Russia Photo:VCG

Editor's Note: 

China and Russia signed a road map on Tuesday for closer military ties. What possible new developments may stem from the new road map? Why have the two countries continued to enhance military cooperation? What kind of situation will the US face if it provokes China and Russia simultaneously? Global Times collected views from both Chinese and Russian scholars.

Oleg Ivanov, vice-rector of Research, Moscow-based Diplomatic Academy

The signing of the road map is important for several reasons. First of all, it indicates that both Russia and China have common interests and common views on strategic stability and regional security especially in the Pacific. Second, to a great extent this road map is a reaction to the pressure that comes at Russia from the western direction and to the alarming signals that China receives from the US and its allies. These two factors bring Russia and China together. Russia and China are accused of allegedly undermining the Western "rules-based world order" though both nations are keen on sticking to international law rather than following the course of the US. Finally, the road map indicates a high level of trust between Russia and China.    

It would be an exaggeration to say that the increasing number of US strategic bombers near the borders of both China and Russia create an immediate and fatal threat to Russia and China. However, US bombers' flights are a warning message that the US cannot accept the independent policies of our countries and does not refrain from using military power as an instrument to bolster its foreign policy. The signing of the road map on military cooperation is a clear indication that Russia and China will never give in to pressure coming from the US and are ready to resist it by relying on combined military efforts if it is necessary. The road map may also play the role of a shower to cool down hot heads in the US administration.           

However, I doubt that these provocations are aimed at real conflict because they may lead to a disaster that nobody desires, keeping in mind nuclear status of the countries. But at the same time the provocations are dangerous because they may create a situation where the countries involved may commit a mistake or make a miscalculation which can bring unpredictable consequences. 

Russia and China work together to ensure security but unlike the US and its allies do not set up alliances or groups like AUKUS or QUAD. We do not proclaim deterrence as a grand strategy toward other countries. We can counteract the activities of the US and its allies by strengthening our political, economic, humanitarian and military bilateral cooperation as well as by pursuing our policy on the basis of international law and combining our efforts in international organizations like the UN and SCO. 

Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and commentator

The signing of the road map for closer military cooperation reflects the high-level mutual military trust between China and Russia. 

China and Russia have conducted three joint strategic air cruises and their first joint maritime cruise. The frequency and intensity of such cruises will continuously increase in the future, serving as the main military cooperation between China and Russia. 

The provocations from the US against China and Russia have risen recently. The increasingly frequent US strategic bombers near the borders of both China and Russia present a great threat to the national security of the two countries. The military cooperation between China and Russia is not aimed at any third party but has a clear purpose of maintaining their respective national security and national interests as well as peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. 

The US is putting itself in a situation of internal and external difficulties by simultaneously challenging China and Russia. In fact, the US is unable to confront both China and Russia militarily. 

The US allies are quite apathetic about the US containment policies and few of them can really think and act in line with the US, leading to an embarrassing circumstance. The US attempts to contain both China and Russia through alliances or to alienate them cannot succeed. 

The US should realize only through peaceful coexistence with China and Russia can the US best safeguard its own national interests. It should keep asking itself: Will other countries sit idle when facing US provocations? 

Cooperation between China and Russia in the Asia-Pacific region is different from the moves of the US and its allies there. China and Russia aim at safeguarding their own national security, regional peace and stability. Their joint actions are against hegemony. On the contrary, military coordination between the US and its allies are offensive, aggressive, and come very close to jeopardizing China and Russia's national security. They are troublemakers in the Asia-Pacific region while China and Russia are firefighters. 

When Beijing and Moscow join hands, they can effectively cope with challenges brought about by Washington. The US should not overestimate itself, nor underestimate the determination of China and Russia in fighting against hegemony.  

China and Russia have enhanced their cooperation in a comprehensive way in fields ranging from politics, economy, military to culture, technology and so on. Such cooperation has a wider range than that carried out under military alliances. 

China and Russia together, are also a powerful force in fighting ideological threats, posed by the US-led Western world, to their national security. 

Yuri Tavrovsky, head of the Expert Council of the Russian-Chinese Committee for Friendship, Peace and Development

This road map is a major milepost on the highway of Russia-China strategic partnership. The dynamics of Western containment and encirclement of the two are impressive and leave no doubt of intentions. The danger is becoming direct and immediate. Provocations are more and more often synchronized and create synergy effect. It is only natural for Moscow and Beijing to respond by synchronizing defence efforts and plans. Apparently, American, NATO and AUKUS dynamics will grow and continue to create synergy. It will inevitably push Moscow and Beijing to reciprocate.

It would be a grave mistake for the US to attack China and Russia at the same time. I think Washington will do its utmost to separate the two. To wage war on two fronts was fatal for Hitler and Hirohito. Moscow and Beijing should demonstrate their mutual support in case of simultaneous confrontation. I think it is time to start openly discuss some sort of defence agreement stipulating joint response to an attack against Russia or China. Such an agreement or statement will not substitute the Russia-China Treaty of 2001, but reinforce it. 

China and Russia are not on the offensive in the Asia-Pacific region. They just want to safeguard their legitimate trade and maritime interests. They do not create chocking points on sea lanes. Do not form new military blocks like AUKUS and QUAD. But it is time to show that our patience is not our weakness. We need to have more ships, more planes, more joint maneuvers. Why our Navies, for example, do not at the same time launch rockets from the Baltic and South China seas?