"Because in Cyberspace, no one can hear you scream."
Monday, August 15, 2005
[Media Source*] (Hat Tip: Guardian Unlimited Blog)
(People's Daily Online) The first-ever joint China-Russia military exercise scheduled for later this year is a significant event in the relations between the two nations and two armies, said Chinese Defense Minister Friday.
"The exercise will exert both immediate and far-reaching impacts," Minister Cao Gangchuan told the visiting Russian army chief Yuri Baluyevsky, who is on his first trip abroad since he took up the post last July.
Although China and Russia are both insisting the whole operation is merely a "new way of cooperation" between the two regional powers, many suspect that these war games are nothing more than preparation in the event that Taiwan publicly declares independence from China. These suspicions become even more troubling as one realizes military powers do not use long range bombers and navy vessels to merely stop a "third party" from interfering in the region.
(Guardian Unlimited Blog) Russia was never thrilled with the presence of US bases on its doorstep in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, to support American military operations in Afghanistan. Russia belongs to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, which includes China and the central Asian republics of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
While China has been focusing on re-acquiring Taiwan, Russia seems more interested in removing the American presence from the region. Under Russia's influence, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has been able to force US air bases out of Uzbekistan and if it were not for Rumsfeld's quick diplomacy efforts the United States would have to pack it's bags in Kyrgyzstan as well.
Although the US will probably find a way to counter this new alliance before it "blossoms" by strengthening Japanese-Russian ties (not to mention Indian-Russian relations) they will have to take serious note about China's future ambitions. For now Taiwan remains a free domain in a region known mostly for aristocracy (aka socialistic capitalism). But time clearly is on China's side, who far from being impatient seems to be merely waiting for the opportunity to assimilate it's south-eastern neighbor.
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