Great news: Russia, China to hold joint naval exercise in the Med

On the QT…

Russia Today reports that China and Russia agreed this past weekend to hold a joint naval exercise in the Mediterranean Sea.

Since they’re both there and all.  It will be interesting to see where they hold the exercise.  Presumably they will steer clear of any area in which they would excite the territorial-claims concern of Greece and Turkey.  That may or may not eliminate the waters between Cyprus and Syria.  I suspect the Russians would avoid that area; it would be an “in your face!” gesture at Turkey to have the exercise there: the use of a card Russia doesn’t need to play just yet.

The temptation may be strong to establish the waters off Syria as a Russian protectorate, with China’s tacit agreement.  But China would also be aware of the signal that would send to Turkey, and – since she’s been cultivating Turkey for several years now – would prefer not to send it.

Perhaps southwest of Cyprus would be considered an appropriate exercise area by both parties.  The exercise will presumably involve the carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, now in the Med.  That would almost certainly entail carrier flight ops, which would be a first for an exercise between the two navies.  The nice, open stretch of air space available southwest of Cyprus would be ideal for that.

It would be icing on the cake if…

See the rest On the QT…


8 thoughts on “Great news: Russia, China to hold joint naval exercise in the Med”

  1. Lets run a potential future war game scenario. Here’s the context; Russia and China continue to establish and strengthen their naval presence in the Med. They both continue to support Iran. Iran gets the bomb. Iran seizes the Strait of Hormuz.

    The world oil price skyrockets into the stratosphere. That threatens the long term viability of Western economies and throws them into an instant, deep recession/depression. Russia of course welcomes higher oil prices. China has exclusive contracts for low cost oil from Iran.

    The US moves to the Med to open the Strait. Russia and China move to block the US from the Strait. Does Obama or a Pres. H. Clinton start WWIII with Russia and China over Iran’s seizure of the Strait or allow stratospheric oil prices to strangle Western economies to death?

    1. If Iran blocked off a side street in Washington. Obama would make a speech and hide.
      Any other US leader will direct all forces to clear the straits forthwith with messages to the Russians and Chinese.
      Do you really wish to risk your economy and infrastructure for these
      silly little pawns?
      If Iran offers any resistance, annihilate all credible forces “where ever they are found”, all equipment used to make war, training facilities,
      and all oil and gas pipelines, transports and off shore facilities.
      The Iranians would be alone. The Russians and Chinese may find them useful time to time, but they are not going to do jack to help them if it gets serious.
      I am reminded of the Lone Ranger and Tonto being attacked by Indians. You find out who your friends are pretty quickly.
      The three “powers” would be discussing who gets what while the Iranians go down hard.
      The British, French, Israelis, Egyptians, Saudis, and Jordanians are going to chime in also.
      The Russians and Chinese would probably drop a couple of bombs on the Iranians at the end just to look good. Regards.

      1. You may be right but I am not at all confident of the possibility that your assessment is correct. I don’t see any democrat President as willing to go to WWIII, for any reason, short of invasion. Also, once Iran has nukes, to prevent an attack, they can threaten non-nuclear nation’s capitals like Berlin, Brussels, Rome…

  2. One of the things we do have going for us is that Russia and China don’t have the same objective. They have the same KIND of objective, but the particulars are different, because each nation has it for its own reasons.

    They’re maneuvering against each other as well as against us. They are exactly as capable of having a genuinely amicable alliance as Hitler and Stalin were. They won’t have the context in which to collude and rule Asia together, any time in the foreseeable future.

    The recession of American power does mean that nations in the Great Crossroads will be scrambling for great-power patronage, however. Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan are really important ones to watch. I think we know what Greece will do (edge toward Russia) and of course what Iran will do. Iraq and Syria are more hapless, and Jordan, although she sits on key territory, is too small to be a major player.

    But Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan hang in the balance right now, and have major significance in their different ways. It’s not certain which direction they’re going to head, or who really has the inside track for a patronage/alignment relationship with them.

    All of those things will have to develop, before we see what Russia or China can bring off, in terms of exercising military power in the region.

    1. I agree that Russia and China do not have the same ultimate objective. But both nation’s immediate objective is a world with a greatly lessened global American influence. On that, they fully agree.

      It is for that reason that I am unconvinced (which is not the same thing as active dispute) that any alliance between Russia and China must necessarily imitate Hitler and Stalin’s agreement. Nor do I perceive them as seeking to collude and rule Asia together. I suspect they have a ‘warlord’s agreement’. Asia for China and Europe for Russia.

      “The recession of American power does mean that nations in the Great Crossroads will be scrambling for great-power patronage, however. Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan are really important ones to watch.”

      Yes. I would expect Egypt, Turkey and the Saudi’s to look to Russia and Pakistan to look to China for their great-power patronage.

      No, it’s not certain which direction they’re going to head. But time is getting short and disbelief at Obama’s fecklessness will crystallize into action shortly after Iran tests its first nuke.

      1. Pakistan is a multi headed, three layered chessboard of conflicting factions, internal strife marinated in ignorance, stupidity, and fundamentalist dogma.
        What a terrible outcome for the world when India created this little cesspool of a country.
        I realize the Muslims needed to be moved somewhere to remove them from India proper.

        1. Deeply rooted tribal factions make nationalism a highly questionable proposition for many regions in the world. My impression is that India had little choice in the matter. Sometimes there are no good solutions. Just really bad, utterly unacceptable and unthinkable.

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