Pacific: Russia playing all sides

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
48,525
36,358
Toronto
Was just reading two interesting articles.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force will deploy strategic bombers and strategic airlifters in addition to fighter aircraft during a massive military exercise in Russia.

While the International Army Games on July 28 will also include warplanes from Belarus, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Iran, Beijing hopes to use the exercise to boost its military ties with Moscow. Russia and China are growing closer together as they form a strategic partnership to counter American dominance of the international order.

“The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) air force will send H-6K bombers, J-10A fighters, JH-7A fighter-bombers, IL-76 and Y-9 transport aircraft, and a team of airborne troops to Russia to participate in the International Army Games,” the Chinese Ministry of Defense said in a press release which was also released by the official Xinhua new service .

“The International Army Games 2018, initiated by the Russian Ministry of Defense, will start on July 28. It is co-organized by China, Russia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Iran. It will be the first time that H-6K bombers and Y-9 transport aircraft have gone abroad to take part in military competitions.”
More: China Is Sending Some of Its Most Deadly Bombers and Fighter Jets to Train in Russia

At the same time:

Russia wants to strike a deal with Japan to build a 28-mile bridge between the two countries that could link Moscow to Tokyo by land and rail.

The project has repeatedly come up in discussions between officials from the two countries. During Russian President Vladimir Putin’s previous term, the Kremlin greatly intensified its outreach to the world’s third biggest economy.

Putin reignited speculation about the long-rumored project last year, when he announced that a land link between Russia and Japan would have “planetary” significance.

“Of course this topic, among other potential Russo-Japanese projects, is being discussed via the inter-governmental commission for trade and economic matters’ channels,” Ambassador Mikhail Galuzin told state news agency RIA Novosti in an interview published on Wednesday. The diplomat said the issue of the bridge also “features” in the dialog Russian companies were having with Japanese enterprises.

As currently planned, the bridge would link the Russian island of Sakhalin with Japan’s northernmost major island of Hokkaido. The line will likely pass over La Pérouse Strait stretching from Russia’s Cape Crillon and Japan’s Cape Soya.

The 28-mile stretch between the two islands is the missing link in a series of construction projects that could allow rail travel from European Russia to Japan’s main island Honshu, where Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama, Kyoto, Nagoya and other cities are located.

“We hope that this marquee project, unique for Russian-Japanese relations will continue to be the subject of, more than anything, constructive discussions and will eventually be realized,” Galuzin said.

Japan’s Hokkaido is already connected to Honshu via the Seikan Tunnel, which passes under the Tsugaru Strait.

Russia is in the process of constructing an $8 million bridge from its mainland to Sakhalin. Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said in September that the money has already been set aside and work could begin in 2018, state news agency Itar-Tass reported.

The Russian government has previously said the connection, be it by bridge or tunnel, between its own mainland and Sakhalin will be the initial step to a bridge to Japan.
More: RUSSIA WANTS TO BUILD A RAIL BRIDGE TO JAPAN, LINKING TOKYO TO EUROPE

So, basically, Putin maintains a military alliance with China on one side


And not just military; Russia has been relying heavily on Chinese investment since burning so many bridges with the West since 2014, with the sanctions and all.

There are a lot more Chinese tourists now, more Chinese than Westerners visiting Russia now

including the "disputed" Crimea

where, BTW, Chinese investors have signed deals with the government to develop new hotels, golf courses, etc


He and Xi have even awarded cool looking medals to each other


lol

At the same time, Putin has also pursued improving relations with Japan, including new negotiations with the Abe government there on the disputed Kuril islands, I wrote about that plenty before:

http://politicalhotwire.com/world-politics/174471-first-japanese-delegation-kurils.html
http://politicalhotwire.com/world-politics/193892-abe-putin-meeting-kurils-nk-etc.html

And, among other things, Russia's Coast Guard has trained together with Japanese colleagues, to cooperate in their Northern Pacific waters

The two Coast Guards have held such drills regularly since 2001. Who do they cooperate against? Why, Chinese (and North Korean) illegal fishermen and smugglers! lol

Lest we forget, Russia also sells submarines, tanks, jets and other sophisticated weapons to such regional rivals of China as Vietnam

and India


This is a smart strategy by Putin, kinda, not putting all eggs in one basket. But, not sure how long he will be able to keep it up. China will likely keep pressing in the South China Sea, and in disputed areas with Japan, the Senkaku Islands and such. And on Taiwan. Sooner or later, Russia actually will need to pick a side in this mess...
 

Tedminator

Former Staff
Jun 2010
27,294
19,696
South Florida
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 2 people

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
48,525
36,358
Toronto
The USA pretty much ceded the western pacific to China when trump scuttled the TPP deal with the democratic nations over there. Now China is signing them up for a new trade pact.. http://politicalhotwire.com/political-discussion/196113-16-asia-pacific-countries-form-trading-block.html

:upset: sad part is this means that China and Russia will also be exporting it's authoritarian system of government all over the place.
Well, certainly the Philippines, for one, seem to be on their way there, with Duterte: Opposition hits ‘authoritarian rule’ of Duterte

Although, the Filipino people had overthrown a dictator before, Marcos ;) I'd like to think they'd rise up again, if Duterte also goes too far...
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 person
Jul 2013
1,540
2,147
U.S.A.
Was just reading two interesting articles.



More: China Is Sending Some of Its Most Deadly Bombers and Fighter Jets to Train in Russia

At the same time:



More: RUSSIA WANTS TO BUILD A RAIL BRIDGE TO JAPAN, LINKING TOKYO TO EUROPE

So, basically, Putin maintains a military alliance with China on one side

And not just military; Russia has been relying heavily on Chinese investment since burning so many bridges with the West since 2014, with the sanctions and all.

There are a lot more Chinese tourists now, more Chinese than Westerners visiting Russia now, including the "disputed" Crimea where, BTW, Chinese investors have signed deals with the government to develop new hotels, golf courses, etc

He and Xi have even awarded cool looking medals to each other.

lol

At the same time, Putin has also pursued improving relations with Japan, including new negotiations with the Abe government there on the disputed Kuril islands, I wrote about that plenty before:
http://politicalhotwire.com/world-politics/174471-first-japanese-delegation-kurils.html
http://politicalhotwire.com/world-politics/193892-abe-putin-meeting-kurils-nk-etc.html

And, among other things, Russia's Coast Guard has trained together with Japanese colleagues, to cooperate in their Northern Pacific waters.

The two Coast Guards have held such drills regularly since 2001. Who do they cooperate against? Why, Chinese (and North Korean) illegal fishermen and smugglers! lol

Lest we forget, Russia also sells submarines, tanks, jets and other sophisticated weapons to such regional rivals of China as Vietnam and India

This is a smart strategy by Putin, kinda, not putting all eggs in one basket. But, not sure how long he will be able to keep it up. China will likely keep pressing in the South China Sea, and in disputed areas with Japan, the Senkaku Islands and such. And on Taiwan. Sooner or later, Russia actually will need to pick a side in this mess...
Wow, a bridge across the La Pérouse strait...? That'd be one of the longest over-water bridges in the world and by far the longest over open ocean water. No offense, but I'll believe that when I see it. A tunnel might be more do-able -- don't know the geology there.

Cheers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 person
Oct 2014
3,769
5,075
British expat in USA
Last I heard, Russia and Japan were at daggers drawn over ownership of the northern Japanese islands, which Russia claims. When did they become best buddies?
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 people
May 2012
70,483
14,291
By the wall
That whole area is in play right now.

And don't forget about India, they are making major moves also.

I say we back out and let them settle it then deal with who ends up in charge.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 person

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
48,525
36,358
Toronto
Wow, a bridge across the La Pérouse strait...? That'd be one of the longest over-water bridges in the world and by far the longest over open ocean water. No offense, but I'll believe that when I see it. A tunnel might be more do-able -- don't know the geology there.

Cheers.
Stalin wanted to build a bridge to Sakhalin too, in early 50s. But then, he died, and it never happened.

Now, it finally might...

It will be good for the Sakhaliners. As is, they only have two ways of getting to the mainland from their island: by ferry (not always reliable, the ferries do not go out in storms and such)

or by plane, from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk airport (expensive)

I had a math teacher in my Moscow school, she was from Sakhalin originally, she is now the principal actually, I hear; well, she always grumbled about how hard it is for people back in her home, how cut off they are, how their groceries and such are more expensive, because it costs more to bring them stuff, on the planes and ships, from the mainland...

But, they are only half a million souls strong, so building such expensive infrastructure for them wasn't seen as worth the cost, before. But, with the Crimea bridge being completed, of course they demanded "What about us?!" lol

And Putin's oligarch's, like the Rotenbergs, in charge of the Crimea project and also will, it is said manager this one too, are only too happy to many more money haha

Last I heard, Russia and Japan were at daggers drawn over ownership of the northern Japanese islands, which Russia claims. When did they become best buddies?
See the links in OP. Negotiations continue about that :)
 
Jun 2006
100,729
11,027
Vancouver
Last I heard, Russia and Japan were at daggers drawn over ownership of the northern Japanese islands, which Russia claims. When did they become best buddies?
Japan has no reason or desire for any conflict with China or Russia. Westerners have an ingrained cultural notion of spreading righteousness and justice to the world. It genuinely bugs us when North Korea has gulags or The Phillipines or Turkey reverts from democracy to dictatorship.

Japan has no such cultural drive. They care about Japan and Japanese people. Crazy foreigners can do whatever they want to each other.

Their high quality exports to China are keeping them in the black.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 person