China is expanding military exercises with Russia amid US sanctions

President Xi Jinping has refused to cross Washington’s red lines in taking arms Russiamilitary machine in Ukraine. But that hasn’t stopped China from getting closer to Moscow’s military in another way: direct engagement.
China is an army of Vladimir Putin they played six games together last year, most of which took place two decades ago.
This accounted for two-thirds of all Chinese arms sales to foreign militaries in 2022, according to data compiled by the US National Defense University Center for the Study of China Military Affairs.
Five actions were taken after Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine, the protests show. Four of those were bilateral, with two involving US adversaries including Iran and Syria.
“Xi has every reason to preserve and promote China-Russia relations,” said Alexander Korolev, senior lecturer in politics and international relations at the University of New South Wales in Australia. “It’s the best way to deal with US power.”
As China harasses Taiwan, the self-governing island of Xi has vowed that one day, the US will expand its military presence in Asia. It recently signed a security agreement with the Philippines and opened another facility in Guam. China’s concerns about being encircled by US forces come as Russia protests North Atlantic Treaty Organization military operations reaching its borders.
Based on this, Xi has refused to criticize Putin’s war. Instead, China has provided a safe economic and diplomatic haven for Moscow by buying its cheap goods and engaging in politics. The Chinese leader’s only trip abroad this year so far was to Moscow.
At the same time, China suspended high-level military talks with the US over the sanctions it imposed on Defense Minister Li Shangfu for purchasing Russian military equipment in 2018. The US and China have not conducted military exercises since 2020, and those involved in the disaster. Fierce clashes between their forces have raised fears that the danger could escalate into conflict.
China and Russia have a checkered history of mutual defense that includes months-long conflicts on their border dating back to the 1960s. The most recent shift in trust occurred in 2015, after the US and Europe imposed sanctions on Russia for its annexation of Crimea last year.
These measures, as well as US criticism of Beijing’s military buildup in the South China Sea, prompted both sides to seek alternative defense partners. This has led some US policymakers to express concern that China and Russia now have an alliance, according to a February report to Congress.
Top Military Agents in China | Russia had a close relationship with Beijing between 2002-2022
Russia and China have conducted at least 36 military exercises since Putin annexed Crimea, according to a NDU and Bloomberg News tally. This compares to only ten attempts in the decade prior to 2014.
Putin’s announcement in 2019 that Russia would help China develop a missile warning system was “unprecedented,” according to Korolev, and signaled a new defense partnership. Such systems require ground-based radars and space-based satellites.
“Putin and Xi have managed to overcome, if not overcome, existing ideological and political barriers to closer cooperation,” he added.
Political Message
Efforts between Russia and China are often smaller than those between the US and its allies. The US and the Philippines recently held a massive military exercise involving more than 17,000 troops.
But China’s and Russia’s actions often have political implications.
For example, their annual efforts around Japan, promote democratic governance in which both countries have a territorial dispute. In 2019, the militaries of the two countries conducted their first long-distance missions in the Indo-Pacific. Japan intercepted the aircraft in response, while South Korea said the drills penetrated its air defense system. Both countries are key US defense partners.
On Saturday, China said Russia would soon send its navy and cruisers to take part in annual military exercises taking place in the middle of the Sea of ​​Japan. The People’s Liberation Army said the operation aims to improve cooperation between the two armies, as well as their ability to maintain peace and stability in the region and deal with various security challenges.
“These exercises are going to be frequent, political and political,” said Andrew Taffer, a researcher at NDU’s Center for the Study of China Military Affairs. “It shows the possibility that they can work together in ways that the US and its allies find uncomfortable, if not offensive.”
Although Russia and China have not conducted military exercises around Taiwan, last month two Russian warships sailed along the island’s eastern coast without difficulty, before passing the Japanese island of Okinawa, home to a major US base. The ships were on their way to the port of Shanghai.
However, Putin’s war in Ukraine has exposed Moscow’s weaknesses as a military partner. This is unlikely to strain relations in the long run because Xi has no viable successor, according to Elizabeth Wishnick, a political science professor at Montclair State University.
“If there was a problem or a conflict in Asia,” he said, “there is a chance that China and Russia could help each other.”

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