|Map Courtesy of The World Factbook|
And then there has been the news that there is a, “Massive Military Drill Under Way In Russia’s Far East”. This could be interpreted as a show of strength towards the United States. It also could be interpreted as Russia attempting to build stronger ties with China in order to build a coalition of Eastern powers to challenge the West.
But it also could be interpreted as a show of strength towards China and fear of incursion into its territory. Furthermore, it also was an explicit test of Russian military readiness.
Russian fear of Chinese incursion is old. And while any expressions of concern about incursions might be dismissed, recent events indicate that the Russian concern is perhaps justified.The Diplomat provided new information on the Chinese threat to the Russian Far East in, “Is Russia Losing Control of Its Far East?” on October 1 and its opening paragraph states:
There has been considerable speculation recently about a nascent alliance between China and Russia, especially given the context of America’s “pivot” to Asia. The pivot coincides with increasing anxiety by Russia over its Far East and has led it to increase its political and economic presence in the region. But despite recent military exercises, Xi Jinping’s first foreign visit to Moscow and other signs of growing cooperation between the two countries, the bilateral relationship is a short-term calculation by Russia that while interests coincide for now it is in fact China that poses the greatest threat to Russia’s presence in the East.Expect Russia and China to cooperate militarily, diplomatically, and economically. At the same time, expect tensions to grow between Russia and China, particularly over the Russian Far East.