Apparently, Russia doesn’t have enough manpower to guard its borders. Or at least not on the Sino-Russian border, since the relations between Beijing and Moscow are getting warmer by the day.
A group of Chinese reporters took a picture of a scarecrow in military uniform standing at a Russian watchtower on the border between the two counties. The reporters were on a tour around a joint Chinese-Russian project of the Nizhneleninskoye-Tongjiang Bridge across the Amur River.
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The reporters from the Hunaqiu news website were surprised to discover the ‘guard’, which had been undetectable to the naked eye, and it’s unclear for how long it has been standing there, according to the Chinese People’s Daily Online.
Touring around Tongjiang, a city bordering Russia, one of the reporters saw the scarecrow coincidentally – when he was removing a photo lens in order to take a picture of the watchtower on the Russian side.
The reporters had been invited to visit the construction site of the first ever bridge that will connect China and Russia along the Amur River. The bridge will be nearly 1.4 miles long, with 1.2 miles in China and 1100 feet in Russia.
Construction process on the Russian side has been stalled due to the start of the construction on the Chinese side in February 2014.
The main part of the bridge is expected to be finished by the end of this year, while the opening is expected to be held in December 2016.
Russia and North Korea to attend China’s military parade
Meanwhile, it was reported Tuesday that Western leaders will not arrive at the Chinese military parade to be held next week.
The parade is also known as “Commemoration of 70th Anniversary of Victory of Chinese People’s Resistance against Japanese Aggression and World Anti-Fascist War.”
Thus, Western leaders will allow President Xi Jinping to stand side by side with Russian President Vladimir Putin and high-ranking representatives of North Korea, Sudan and Venezuela.
Over 10 thousand soldiers, including Russian and North Korean soldiers, will take part in the parade that commemorates the 70th anniversary of the World War victory to be held in the center of Beijing.
American and European officials have repeatedly voiced their concerns that such a show off of military power might send a wrong signal throughout the volatile region, where China has taken a ‘threatening’ position over the disputed islands.
Besides, the media suggested that the arrival of Vladimir Putin has also played a crucial role in Western leaders refusal to come to the parade.
Thus, only leaders of countries that have been in tight relations with China will attend the parade to be held next Wednesday along central Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, including Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Sudan President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.
Kim Jong Un’s close advisor to attend the parade
Also, it is expected that some secretive diplomatic meetings may take place behind the scene of the event. Choe Ryong Hae, secretary of the Central Committee of North Korea’s Workers’ Party and a close advisor of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will attend the parade.
North Korea has recently gotten into a yet another fight with its South neighbor over loudspeakers that broadcast propaganda messages on the border between the two counties.
A rehearsal of the parade took place this weekend. One of few Western leaders to attend the parade will be President of Czech Republic Milos Zeman, according to Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Ming, who held a televised conference on state television.
“It’s up to each country to decide who they wanted to send. In China we say those who come are all guests. We welcome them all,” Zhang answered the question on whether China takes it personally that leaders of the U.S., U.K., Germany and other major Western countries had declined to come.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also refused to attend the event over the growing concerns in Tokyo over Chinese military expansion in the region, including ongoing Russian-Chinese joint military drills.
China believes that Japan is refusing to admit its occupation of part of China’s territory before and during the World War. According to Chinese estimations, Japanese soldiers killed millions of Chinese civilians.
Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius will represent France at the parade, according to Zhang. Also, Zhang said that former Prime Minister of the U.K. Tony Blair and Britain’s former justice minister Kenneth Clarke as well as ambassadors from the U.S., EU, Germany and Canada will be among those to attend the event.
U.S. and Japan threaten security of the region
On Monday, China and Russia entered the active phase of the Joint Sea-2015 (II) exercises held in Russian territorial waters and in neutral waters off the Sea of Japan.
The Chinese Navy has not conducted any military drills in this area before.
Such drills in the Asia-Pacific Region have a profound meaning. And while Western experts believe that such drills are aimed at intimidating U.S. allies in the region, the drills “are not targeted at any third party and are not relevant to the regional status quo,” according to the Chinese.
However, the U.S. and Japan are still worried over the military drills involving nearly 30 vessels, 23 aircraft, 30 armed vehicles and nearly 500 marines from China and Russia.
According to experts from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Washington and Tokyo are trying to maintain their dominance in the Asia-Pacific Region.
The U.S. is carrying out the policy of power ‘rebalancing’ in the region, while Japan continues to strengthen its alliance with Washington thanks to the agreement of joint cooperation and security, according to Huanqiu news agency.
The news agency also pointed out that the two counties have been repeatedly holding joint exercises as well intelligence operations in the region, which made Moscow and Beijing feel ‘unsafe’. Such actions threaten the security of the Asia-Pacific Region, Huanqiu noted.