The Pentagon’s worst nightmare – a military alliance between Russia and China – is coming close to reality.
In a video conference on Tuesday, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chinese Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe agreed a series of joint exercises and patrols across the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan.
The Chinese and Russian navies have already sent a joint flotilla of 10 warships through the Japan’s narrow Tsugaru Strait.
With the South China Sea a potential flashpoint for a conflict between China and America, the presence of Russian warships in the region places additional pressure on US Navy forces.
Minister Shoigu said that US bomber patrols near Russia’s airspace had undergone a “significant intensification” in recent months.
“Over the past month,” he said, “about 30 sorties have been made to the borders of the Russian Federation, which is 2.5 times more than in the corresponding period last year”.
One of the US Air Force operations he singled out was Operation Global Thunder – an exercise which simulated a nuclear strike on Russia.
WW3 fears grow as US patrol ships back up Ukrainian navy against Russia
He said in the context of these aggressive moves from the US, a Russian-Chinese alliance could be “a stabilising factor in world affairs”
General Wei told Shoigu that Russia had “successfully countered” US military threats, reported official Russian news agency Tass.
China has also accused America of provocative acts, with a statement from the People’s Liberation Army saying that the US was “creating safety risks and jeopardising regional stability” after the USS Milius guided-missile destroyer made what the US Seventh Fleet described as a “routine” patrol through the Taiwan Strait.
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Chinese military sources have also described the landmark AUKUS nuclear submarine deal between Britain, the US and Australia as “an extremely irresponsible threat to stability in the region”.
China’s defence ministry said in a statement that the new pact with Russia would “continue to deepen strategic cooperation between the two militaries, continue to strengthen cooperation in strategic exercises, joint patrols and other areas, and continue to make new contributions to safeguarding the core interests of China and Russia and maintaining international and regional security and stability”.
With China and the US facing off over Taiwan, and American intelligence sources warning of a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine, the stage is set for a direct confrontation between all three superpowers.
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