Russia and China Kick Off Their Latest Joint Live Fire Training

Aritra Deb / shutterstock.com
Aritra Deb / shutterstock.com

Russia and China are already getting pieces in place for their latest joint training exercise. With a timetable of an entire week, the exercise serves to throw another log on the fire in the already tense western Pacific region. Many nations already see the cooperation between the two nations as a potential precursor to World War III.

Named Maritime Cooperation 2022 (a name so simple Biden would be beaming with pride), the exercise will feature the latest in each country’s respective technologies, as well as a heavy feature of Russia’s Pacific Fleet flagship. Comprised of the missile cruiser Varyag, a frigate as well as two corvettes. For their efforts, China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy will send two destroyers, two patrol ships, a multipurpose supply ship, and a diesel submarine per a Russian-released statement.

“The active part of the exercise will include joint missile and artillery firing against air targets, artillery firing against sea targets, and practicing joint anti-submarine actions with practical use of weapons. The main purpose of the exercise is to strengthen naval cooperation between the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China and to maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.”

This statement, as well as the information about what tools they will be using, does little to maintain the peace and stability in the region despite their allegation that their training exercise will help. With the exercise being based in the South China Sea, it serves to strongly ratchet up the tensions across the entire Pacific.

China remains one of the very few nations to not condemn the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and with their increase in financial assistance to the Russians and increasing trade levels to new record highs, they have helped the massive nation avoid the full flex of the economic sanctions. With Biden and other Western nations trying to help other countries avoid buying Russian goods, the sabotage by the Chinese authorities as they just do what they want isn’t helping matters any.

In response to all the tension between these two massive nations, as well as North Korea’s persistent missile testing, Japan has felt backed into a corner. This has forced them to dramatically increase their defense budget, as well as being the acquisition process of obtaining long-range weapons while citing their own security concerns. With a massive American military presence already in Japan as well as South Korea, we already have a lot of skin in the game as it is.

The cooperation between China and Russia around Japan is nothing new. In 2021, they held joint air-based exercises that went right up to the Japanese airspace line, and they circumnavigated the islands of Japan in warships too. This kind of provocation was met with a lot of finger-wagging, but no action was taken by either side. In June of this year, Tokyo tracked either Russian and Chinese warships near their waters in one week.

Back in June, James Brown, associate professor of political science at Temple University in Tokyo told CNN “Tracking the movements of both Russian and Chinese military forces are a strain on the resources of the Japan Self Defense Forces.”

Considering the lack of additional military or political help from President Biden, one can assume the strain has only gotten worse since then.

Perhaps if we had a Commander In Chief who had brains instead of tapioca or a backbone instead of a slinky we would stop seeing this increase in global aggression. Maybe we could see some harmony by force or simply by intimidation. Sadly until at least 2024, that’s not likely.