New joint military drills are planned between China and Russia for September to take place in the South China Sea. The involvement of Russia and location are seen as a message to America in the waning months of the Obama administration. The South China Sea is an area of serious dispute between China and its neighbors. The Obama administration has pledged to stand against Chinese aggression. With Putin on the move in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, the Russian involvement is a worrying development.
The tension in the area stems from a recent international court ruling that China has no historic claim to the region. The Russians have backed Beijing up on their stance in opposition tot he ruling.
“This is a routine exercise between the two armed forces, aimed at strengthening the developing China-Russia strategic cooperative partnership,” China’s defense ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said.
Although the West views such exercises as a provocation and preparation for war, especially under heightened tensions, the two emerging super powers have held similar drills last year in the Mediterranean and Sea of Japan.
From China’s perspective it is the USA that is beating the drums of war by infringing on their historic rights in the South China Sea. With China rising and Russia close behind, the USA has far less leverage than it had in the past.
Where Does Israel Stand?
Israel has taken a neutral approach on everything to do with the tug of war between the USA and China. With Israel’s bilateral relationship growing at an exponential rate with China, any shred of non neutrality on the South China Sea and other issues between the Chinese and Americans, could endanger Israel’s new and positive relationship with Beijing.