Russia and China’s growing proximity has become a major cause of worry for the United States. Massive economic sanctions imposed by Western countries have had little impact on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ambitions. Meanwhile, China has started flexing its military muscle, sending a clear signal that the U.S. should better avoid meddling into China’s affairs.
Russia and China recently concluded joint naval exercises in the Sea of Japan/ East Sea, just 250 miles off the coast of Japan. About 22 submarines, warships and other vessels, and at least 20 aircraft participated in the exercises. It was the largest ever joint naval exercise between Russia and China. It focused mainly on amphibious assault drills, air defense tactics, and anti-submarine combat.
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On Thursday, China held a massive military parade in Beijing to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the World War 2. Beijing showcased its latest military hardware at the event. Richard Fisher, a missile expert at the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said decades of Chinese investment in military technology has resulted in capabilities “that are changing the balance of power against the United States in Asia.”
China showcased its Dongfeng 21D missile, often described as “carrier killer,” that threatens to reshape the power equations in the western Pacific. However, it’s not just their military might that the U.S. needs to worry about. A series of recent cyber attacks on U.S. targets ranging from the Office of Personnel Management to Pentagon to the White House to American Airlines have been traced back to either China or Russia.
Earlier this week, the U.S. counter-intelligence officials revealed that Russia and China were aggregating the massive data they had stolen via cyber attacks. It would allow them to identify and blackmail the U.S. intelligence officials.
In yet another cause of worry, the Pentagon officials said Wednesday that they spotted five Chinese navy ships operating in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska. The Chinese naval movements came as President Barack Obama was visiting Alaska and the Arctic region to address climate change. The presence of Chinese vessels so close to the U.S. shores is a clear signal that China is aggressively expanding its naval presence beyond its own coasts to project influence.