Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Russia And China Will Now Hold Military Exercises 'On A Regular Basis'
Russia and China are drawing closer together as the two great powers solidify their entente to challenge the United States and its liberal hegemony.
Not only do Russian president Vladimir Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping seem to have established a good personal rapport, the Russian military and the People’s Liberation Army are set to conduct massive wargames such as Vostok-2018 exercises on a regular basis in the future. Russian defense minister Gen. Sergei Shoigu said as much when he hosted his Chinese counterpart Gen. Wei Fenghe during a visit to the Tsugol training ground as a part of Vostok-2018 . "We have agreed to hold such exercises on a regular basis,” Shoigu said in a statement.
Wei, for his part, also stressed the importance of Sino-Russian “cooperation on operational and strategic levels.” The Chinese military and political leadership in Beijing consider such cooperation with the Russians to be particularly important, according to the Russian Defense Ministry statement.
Indeed, both the Russian and Chinese leadership stressed cooperation between the two great powers during Xi’s visit to Vladivostok, Russia, on September 11. “Today was President Xi’s working visit to Russia,” Putin said. “It included talks during which we discussed the most urgent bilateral and international matters, and outlined further plans to promote the comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation between Russia and China.”
Xi, for his part, noted that he had met with his “close friend” Putin three times within the past four months, which demonstrates the “special character” of Sino-Russian relations.
“The President and I agree that since the beginning of this year Russian-Chinese relations have been showing dynamic growth, have entered a new era of rapid development and are reaching a higher level,” Xi said. “The parties reaffirmed firm mutual support in the choice of the development path that agrees with the national features of both countries as well as our security and development interests.”
Russian, Chinese and Mongolian national flags set on armored vehicles develop in the wind during a military exercises on training ground "Tsugol", about 250 kilometers (156 miles ) south-east of the city of Chita during the military exercises Vostok 2018 in Eastern Siberia, Russia, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018.Associated Press/Sergei Grits
Xi further noted that Russia and China share a common worldview and share the same common interests. Xi also touted the importance of the Sino-Russian entente to global security—at least from the Chinese point of view.
“As permanent members of the UN Security Council and leading countries in the developing markets, China and Russia bear enormous responsibility for the maintenance of peace and stability together with the promotion of the development and prosperity all over the world,” Xi said. “We have similar or identical positions on international matters, broad common interests and firm foundations for cooperation. China-Russia cooperation in maintaining equality, justice, peace, and stability throughout the entire world is gaining ever more importance against a backdrop of growing instability and unpredictability on a global scale.”
Putin also urged the Russian “regions” to further expand their ties to their Chinese counterparts, which he views as key to the Sino-Russian entente. “We hope that your cooperation strengthens ties between our countries and helps Russia and China step up their relations,” Putin said. “It is our belief that our relations are essential and critical for our countries, as well as for the world in general. These are global, strategic relations that are gaining momentum. Your efforts will be decisive in ensuring this progress.”
While Russia and China have not always been on the best of terms, especially after Sino-Soviet in the 1960s, Moscow and Beijing have found common ground in recent years even if the relationship remains transactional in many ways. Even American experts on Russia are starting to accept the possibility of a genuine Beijing-Moscow entente directed against the United States.
“I think a strategic partnership is slowly in the offing, but is encumbered by the two sides' self-interest and transactional impulses,” as Center for Naval Analyses analyst Michael Kofman told The National Interest earlier this year. “As such, the catalyst will be a third actor, namely the United States, and the extent to which those countries perceive a threat from Washington in common.”
This article originally appeared in The National Interest
Read more from The National Interest:
- Imagine a U.S. Air Force That Never Built the B-52 Bomber
- Russia's Next Big Military Sale — To Mexico?
- Would China Really Invade Taiwan?
Senior defense officials offered a wide range of excuses to reporters on Wednesday about why they may not comply with a subpoena from House Democrats for documents related to the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
On Oct. 7, lawmakers subpoenaed information about military aid to Ukraine. Eight days later, a Pentagon official told them to pound sand in part because many of the documents requested are communications with the White House that are protected by executive privilege.
Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) will announce legislation Wednesday aiming to "fix" a new Trump administration citizenship policy that affects some children of U.S. service members stationed abroad.
The inside story of how The Village People shot the Navy's most controversial recruiting video onboard an active warship
The video opens innocently enough. A bell sounds as we gaze onto a U.S. Navy frigate, safely docked at port at Naval Base San Diego. A cadre of sailors, dressed in "crackerjack" style enlisted dress uniforms and hauling duffel bags over their shoulders, stride up a gangplank aboard the vessel. The officer on deck greets them with a blast of a boatswain's call. It could be the opening scene of a recruitment video for the greatest naval force on the planet.
Then the rhythmic clapping begins.
This is no recruitment video. It's 'In The Navy,' the legendary 1979 hit from disco queens The Village People, shot aboard the very real Knox-class USS Reasoner (FF-1063) frigate. And one of those five Navy sailors who strode up that gangplank during filming was Ronald Beck, at the time a legal yeoman and witness to one of the strangest collisions between the U.S. military and pop culture of the 20th century.
"They picked the ship and they picked us, I don't know why," Beck, who left the Navy in 1982, told Task & Purpose in a phone interview from his Texas home in October. "I was just lucky to be one of 'em picked."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Tuesday casually brushed aside the disturbing news that, holy shit, MORE THAN 100 ISIS FIGHTERS HAVE ESCAPED FROM JAIL.
In an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Esper essentially turned this fact into a positive, no doubt impressing public relations and political talking heads everywhere with some truly masterful spin.
"Of the 11,000 or so detainees that were imprisoned in northeast Syria, we've only had reports that a little more than a hundred have escaped," Esper said, adding that the Syrian Democratic Forces were continuing to guard prisons, and the Pentagon had not "seen this big prison break that we all expected."
Well, I feel better. How about you?
On Wednesday, the top U.S. envoy in charge of the global coalition to defeat ISIS said much the same, while adding another cherry on top: The United States has no idea where those 100+ fighters went.
A senior administration official told reporters on Wednesday the White House's understanding is that the SDF continues to keep the "vast majority" of ISIS fighters under "lock and key."
"It's obviously a fluid situation on the ground that we're monitoring closely," the official said, adding that released fighters will be "hunted down and recaptured." The official said it was Turkey's responsibility to do so.
President Trump expressed optimism on Wednesday about what was happening on the ground in northeast Syria, when he announced that a ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurds was expected to be made permanent.
"Turkey, Syria, and all forms of the Kurds have been fighting for centuries," Trump said. "We have done them a great service and we've done a great job for all of them — and now we're getting out."
The president boasted that the U.S.-brokered ceasefire had saved the lives of tens of thousands of Kurds "without spilling one drop of American blood."
Kade Kurita, the 20-year-old West Point cadet who had been missing since Friday evening, was found dead on Tuesday night, the U.S. Military Academy announced early Wednesday morning.
"We are grieving this loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to Cadet Kurita's family and friends," Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, superintendent of West Point, said in the release.