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Sino Russian Alliance

This is a discussion on Sino Russian Alliance within the Geo-strategic Issues forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; A new thread to discuss the apparently growing Russian Sino alliance. This week sees the Chinese carrier battle group enter ...


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Old July 22nd, 2017   #1
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Sino Russian Alliance

A new thread to discuss the apparently growing Russian Sino alliance. This week sees the Chinese carrier battle group enter the Baltic to participate in war games. RT is making a big point of the exercise claiming that it is to counter balance the growing NATO expansion.

How valid is this? Are NATO simply responding to Russian aggression in the Ukraine and taking steps to reassure the Baltic nations?

Do China and Russia have their own agenda that goes beyond defence?

Could we see Chinese troops in mainland Europe supporting Russian defences? Is that likely?

By any standards the rise of the Chinese navy has been startling and alarming. Is there something deeper to all of this?

How deep is this alliance?

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/397206-na...-china-drills/
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Old July 22nd, 2017   #2
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Geopolitics is one of the hardest things to predict. The situation can change overnight as alliances break and reform. Something like demographics is much more predictable and future projections are much more reliable. With that in mind
I will offer my ideas on the Sino Russian alliance.

Countries might ally with a neighbouring country to secure a shared boarder and focus their strength eleswhere. Alternatively, they might ally with a country on the other side of a competing neighbour to force that neighbour to divide their strength. The Sino Russian alliance represents the first type whereas the India Japanese alliance represents the second type.

The question is how stable is the Sino Russian alliance. At present it suits both powers. But there are historical issues yet to be resolved over lands in the east of Russia. Much of Russia's Far East was once sending tribute to Beijing. I don't know if China will accept the current boarder forever. I would go so far as to say this alliance represents Russian weakness more than anything else.

Russia is in relative decline compared to Europe and China. As time goes by the weaker they become. To make matters worse, they are most vulnerable to Islamic expansion into Central Asia. They can't hold off both China and Europe so they need one of those powers to support them against the other.

In time, as Europe progressively frees itself from Pax Americana, they will operate more independently. I can see the west splitting in two. China and Europe might end up in alliance as they don't tread on each other's toes and might benefit from dividing the strength of their competitors. This would be disastrous for Russia.

The rise of China and their ambition to reinvent the 'middle kingdom' and the rise of Islamic militancy and their ambition to reform the Caliphate both represent the reemergence of the pre-Western world order. The global balance of power will keep shifting for some time to come as this process of adjustment runs its course. None of it is good for Russia. Their hand is weak and getting weaker.

Just one view of the way things are going. But geopolitics is very hard to predict.
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Old July 23rd, 2017   #3
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Geopolitics is one of the hardest things to predict. The situation can change overnight as alliances break and reform. Something like demographics is much more predictable and future projections are much more reliable. With that in mind
I will offer my ideas on the Sino Russian alliance.

Countries might ally with a neighbouring country to secure a shared boarder and focus their strength eleswhere. Alternatively, they might ally with a country on the other side of a competing neighbour to force that neighbour to divide their strength. The Sino Russian alliance represents the first type whereas the India Japanese alliance represents the second type.
Thank you for those reflections. China are obviously motivated at the moment by what they see to be US interference in their back yard and it does not take a genius to see that. I have little doubt that had the US withdrew from the SCS region that we would not be seeing this Shipbuilding at such a frantic pace or the war games this week.

The political and military actions of the US will I feel decide how this alliance deepens in coming years.
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Old July 23rd, 2017   #4
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The question is how stable is the Sino Russian alliance. At present it suits both powers. But there are historical issues yet to be resolved over lands in the east of Russia. Much of Russia's Far East was once sending tribute to Beijing. I don't know if China will accept the current boarder forever. I would go so far as to say this alliance represents Russian weakness more than anything else.
The question of demographics often pops up but how relevant actually is it? In order for massive influx of Chinese immigrants into Russian Far East to happen a number of conditions would have to be met first of all business opportunities and infrastructure none of which currently exist; there are practically no highways connecting the two regions aside from G1211 highway near Blagoveshchensk so truth to be told, for young Chinese looking for better life, more economic opportunities lie to their south, not to their north. Ironically, if Russians want to keep their region bellow Chinese radar, underdevelopment should do the trick.
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Old July 23rd, 2017   #5
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The question of demographics often pops up but how relevant actually is it? In order for massive influx of Chinese immigrants into Russian Far East to happen a number of conditions would have to be met first of all business opportunities and infrastructure none of which currently exist; there are practically no highways connecting the two regions aside from G1211 highway near Blagoveshchensk so truth to be told, for young Chinese looking for better life, more economic opportunities lie to their south, not to their north. Ironically, if Russians want to keep their region bellow Chinese radar, underdevelopment should do the trick.
There already are large numbers of Chinese immigrants in the Russian Far East.

Analysis: Russia's Far East Turning Chinese - ABC News
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Old July 23rd, 2017   #6
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There already are large numbers of Chinese immigrants in the Russian Far East.

Analysis: Russia's Far East Turning Chinese - ABC News
Is this something the Russians embrace or does it cause friction Feanor?

Is there more to the alliance than just balancing US military and political influence?
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Old July 23rd, 2017   #7
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There already are large numbers of Chinese immigrants in the Russian Far East.

Analysis: Russia's Far East Turning Chinese - ABC News
Well, the hype is definitely real. So I'd take this with a handful of salt.

Why Forecasts of a Chinese Takeover of the Russian Far East Are Just Dramatic Myth - Carnegie Moscow Center - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

"Moreover, after the collapse of oil prices and rouble depreciation, more Chinese workers are choosing to leave Russia. Most Chinese migrants are temporary workers, not permanent settlers. They work in trade, construction and agriculture, and send most of their earnings back to their families. In the past two years, their average income has collapsed by 50 per cent. In 2016, the average monthly salary in Heilongjiang was US$667, while in Primorye, the most populated part of the Far East just across the border, it was US$563."

EDIT: ABC Calling Russian Far East Chinas safety valve and comparing it to Mexico-US is hardly a point made. It's not like the Chinese dont have anywhere else to go. The only thing that could potentially attract more Chinese immigrants are specific, time-bound projects and that's just on a temp basis. Those who search a better life on a general level are more likely to head down south given that China as a whole offers more business opportunities than Russian east.

Last edited by Lcf; July 23rd, 2017 at 09:07 PM. Reason: Additional thoughts
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Old July 23rd, 2017   #8
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The question of demographics often pops up but how relevant actually is it? In order for massive influx of Chinese immigrants into Russian Far East to happen a number of conditions would have to be met first of all business opportunities and infrastructure none of which currently exist; there are practically no highways connecting the two regions aside from G1211 highway near Blagoveshchensk so truth to be told, for young Chinese looking for better life, more economic opportunities lie to their south, not to their north. Ironically, if Russians want to keep their region bellow Chinese radar, underdevelopment should do the trick.
Demographics are very important because they inform us of the anthropogenic impacts upon a spatial area and how that will influence any decisions that we make. They provide a tool to inform any plan or strategy that we are studying or formulating.
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Old July 24th, 2017   #9
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A new thread to discuss the apparently growing Russian Sino alliance. This week sees the Chinese carrier battle group enter the Baltic to participate in war games.
Just a minor correction. The Chinese flotilla is a destroyer, a frigate, and a supply vessel. The PLAN's sole carrier is still in Chinese waters. A CBG would be a much more symbolic way to show the flag.

Chinese warships en route to Baltic Sea | News | DW | 18.07.2017

https://www.rt.com/news/397096-china-russia-sea-drills/
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Old July 24th, 2017   #10
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Demographics are very important because they inform us of the anthropogenic impacts upon a spatial area and how that will influence any decisions that we make. They provide a tool to inform any plan or strategy that we are studying or formulating.
True, I agree. And if taken out of context, things do look pretty grim for the Russians. In fact, every 5th person you know is probably Chinese. But that's not true, is it. Demographics alone don't count for much if there are no incentives to move into Russian Far East. There's no economy nor infrastructure to support it and if the Chinese wanted to take over the region they could've done so by now due to simple superiority in numbers but that hasn't happened yet and I reckon it won't happen anytime soon due to geopolitics; with both countries facing ever more aggressive and erratic United States foreign policy I doubt there's much sense making an enemy out Russia over territorial disputes.
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Old July 25th, 2017   #11
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Is this something the Russians embrace or does it cause friction Feanor?

Is there more to the alliance than just balancing US military and political influence?
It causes social friction but with two non-democratic entities it doesn't necessarily lead to political conflicts.
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Old July 25th, 2017   #12
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the exercise happened every year, and mostly due to the fact Russia supports china at SCS. China returned the favor at Baltic Sea. China has no intention for an arm race in Europe and Russia has no intention get into undesirable situations with ASEAN or Japan. Both support each other in diplomacy. Both has issues with US, so enemies of my enemies. Also Russia can provide a lot energy to china in case of SCS or sino-India flare up
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Old July 25th, 2017   #13
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And also show that PRC can turn the tables on EU if it sends warships to the SC Sea, in a tit-for tat! They may return to China via the NSR, escorted by a Russian icebreaker, thus completing circumnavigation of Eurasia.
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