The navies of China and Russia are all set to hold a joint exercise in the Baltic Sea to mark the first stage of Joint Sea 2017 from July 21–28. The drill involving best of naval assets and aircrafts of world’s second and third most powerful navies is sure to send a strong political signal to its western counterparts.
July 21 would mark the grand opening ceremony of the week-long exercise. The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) task force will enter the enclosed body of water giving a major boost to Russia’s already intimidating fleet at the Black Sea.
The Chinese fleet consisting of three ships — The Type 52D destroyer Hefei, the Type 054A guided missile frigate Yuncheng, and the supply ship Luoma Lake will reach Baltiysk in Russia’s Kaliningrad region on July 21. Other than these three, the drills will involve at least ten ships of various classes, more than ten aircraft and helicopters of both the Russian and Chinese naval forces.
India’s take on Russia and China’s growing bond
The end of the Soviet Union in December 1991, caught the attention of all economic, military, political, and strategic analysts worldwide on the growing relationship between Moscow and Beijing. India is equally anxious as its security is very much depended on the country’s partnership with Russia and the growing Sino-Russian amiability is worrisome.
India’s fear about increasing proximity between Moscow and Beijing and recent involvement of China’s ‘all weather’ ally Pakistan in regional affairs in a trilateral format, especially in Afghanistan does not seem baseless. Another point of worry is the extent of Russia’s friendship with China and to what limits will it accommodate their interests. Russia’s alliance with China will have direct impact on India’s economy, security and strategic interests; and can also mar its freedom to sail in South China Sea — India’s entry point to Russia, Korea, Japan and Pacific Ocean.
An era of Sino-Russian partnership
The strategic partnership and comprehensive cooperation between Russia and China is based on creating regional and global stability amongst all countries. As President Vladimir Putin once explained that, “Sino-Russian relations will serve as a model for shaping a world order free from the domination of a single country, no matter how strong it is, and taking into account the interests of all countries in harmony.”
Many believe that the anti-Russian Western sanctions over Ukraine crisis and return of Crimea into Russia’s fold in 2014, marks the growing closeness between Moscow and Beijing but the process had started way back in 1996.
Although, Moscow and Beijing have amicably resolved their outstanding historical differences, there are still trust issues among both the countries.
However, this alliance surely has a strong impact on World politics. Though Russia and China are not bonded by any defense obligations, neither are they involved in a military and political alliance, yet their close relations have grabbed quite a few eyeballs. Interestingly, all those who wants to coerce Russia and China will be put on alert through this drill.
New geo-political dynamic
The armed forces of Russia and China are leaving no stones unturned when it’s about bettering their relations. They have charted a development roadmap between the two countries from the year 2017–2020.
Under the guidance of state heads, Russia and China aims to strengthen and promote their jointly led Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The better-known ‘Shanghai Five’ serves as the platform for economic, political and military alliance and also as an equaliser to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
The Russians have time and again been harsh with their counterparts. Last three years have witnessed quitea hot flashes between Russia and USA at the Baltics and the Black Sea. With Russia’s great experience, especially in submarine and anti-submarine operations and the Chinese resources, this ally is sure to keep their opponents at a watch.