Tokyo: A joint Chinese-Russian exercise in the Asian region has raised concerns among some states that Russian and Chinese air and naval forces will soon be patrolling the area regularly, the Financial Times newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing officials.
On July 15, the Chinese Defense Ministry announced that the Russian Armed Forces would participate in the “North. Interaction-2023” military exercises organized by China in the Sea of Japan.
The framing of the drill and increasingly frequent Russian military movements in East Asian waters and airspace raise concerns that Russian and Chinese air and naval forces could soon be patrolling the area regularly, the newspaper reported, citing Japanese and Taiwanese government officials.
The news outlet sees this drill as more provocative, since Russia increased its military participation in the exercise and the event is taking place in an area where Russia and Japan have territorial disputes.
Japan no longer has illusions that it can develop relations with Russia to balance China and is now convinced that there is a treat on two fronts, a senior Japanese government official was cited by the Financial Times as saying.
At the same time, China sees its growing cooperation with Russia as a response to US hegemony and pressure from NATO, the newspaper quotes Chinese defense experts as saying.
Russian officials have also said that military cooperation with China is a response to the aggressive build-up of US military potential in Asia. At the same time it was underscored that neither Russia, nor China are planning to create any alliances and new dividing lines in the region.