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    1. CONTACT US Wed Nov. 13, 2013

      CASS 中国社会科学网(中文) Fran?ais


      Expert: China-Russia military relationship enters new era

      Author  :  Li Shuyin     Source  :    China Military Online     2019-12-18

      The year 2019 is an important and crucial year in the history of China-Russia relations and has milestone significance.

      In this year, China and Russia held a series of celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. After 70 years of journey, the relations between the two countries have become more mature and stable. In this year, the two heads of state jointly decided to upgrade the relationship between the two countries into a "comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era", marking that the two countries will work together to address risks and challenges, and safeguard security and stability, regionally and globally, amid changes unseen in a century.

      As a vital and special component of the relationship between the two countries, the relationship between the two armed forces is a prominent highlight and an important support for the strategic cooperation between the two countries. Looking back on the bilateral military relationship in 2019, it can be said that there are many highlights and great achievements.

      First, two heads of state issued the strongest voice on maintaining global strategic stability.

      Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a historic visit to Moscow in June this year. In this major event that kicked off a new era of relations between the two countries and the two militaries, two heads of state signed the Joint Statement on Strengthening Contemporary Global Strategic Stability. This is another important document signed by two sides after the joint statement on strategic stability.

      The joint statement confronted a series of negative measures by the US that destabilize international strategic stability, including the deployment of anti-missile systems in Eastern Europe and East Asia, the development of long-range precision strike weapons such as the "Prompt Global Strike", as well as the promotion of weaponization of outer space. The joint statement denounced destructive actions by the US that go against the tide of the times such as its withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the refusal to sign the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. The joint statement systematically and specifically put forward the "Chinese-Russian thinking" on strengthening strategic stability, maintaining a multilateral arms control system, and solving non-proliferation hotspot issues in a political manner. It sent to the international community a strong voice of opposing unilateralism and maintaining multilateralism, as well as opposing hegemonism and maintaining the international order. It fully reflected the responsible spirit of China and Russia on major international issues, and at the same time, highlighted the great power of strategic collaboration between two countries.

      Second, the Chinese armed forces have participated in Russia's large-scale strategic exercises for two consecutive years.

      The Chinese armed forces participated in the Russian "Tsentr-2019" (Center-2019) exercise from September 16 to 21. This is another important military cooperation activity between the two militaries after the Russian "Vostok-2018" (East-2018) strategic exercise in September 2018. It is also the second time that Chinese armed forces participate in the Russian military's annual strategic drill in an "embedded" manner. To some extent, it indicates that such activities are gradually being institutionalized. This highly close joint performance not only reflects the high level of strategic mutual trust and pragmatic strategic cooperation between the two armed forces, but also marks the upgrading of the joint training activities of the two countries. Joint training has always been an important part of military cooperation between China and Russia.

      Since the two militaries held the "Peace Mission-2005" joint drill for the first time in 2005, the two sides have conducted more than 20 various types of training activities and drills under bilateral and multilateral frameworks, covering all levels of strategic battle tactics. The drills cover traditional and non-traditional security fields, while the subject extends from land to multi-dimensional space such as sea and air.

      It can be said that from "East-2018" to "Center-2019", from the Tsugol training ground in the Zabaykalsky Krai to the Donguz training range in Orenburg, the Chinese and Russian officers and soldiers trained together, consulted closely, competed on the same stage and further enhanced strategic mutual trust. At the same time, it is also of great significance for the Chinese troops to learn from the actual combat experience of Russia, test the results of China's military reform, and improve the level of actual combat training.

      Third, Chinese and Russian armed forces implemented first joint strategic air patrol.

      The Chinese and Russian Air Forces conducted joint air patrol in the airspace of Northeast Asia in the form of mixed formations on prescheduled routes on July 23. As the first joint strategic air patrol between the two sides, this operation is of great significance.

      On the one hand, as an important part of the annual cooperation plan between the Chinese and Russian armed forces, this joint patrol does not target any third party. The aircraft of China and Russia did not enter the airspace of another country during the patrol. It is a just and reasonable operation in full compliance with international law.

      On the other hand, the joint patrol helps to enhance the strategic capabilities of the two militaries to cope with risks and challenges, and demonstrates to the international community the firm determination of China and Russia to safeguard national security and jointly maintain global strategic stability.

      Last but not least, the Russian Defense Minister participated in the Beijing Xiangshan Forum for the first time.

      As a track-1.5 high-end security and defense dialogue platform, Beijing Xiangshan Forum is constantly increasing its attractiveness and influence. This year, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu led a large delegation to attend the forum and made a speech, further demonstrating that the high-level exchanges between the two countries and the two militaries have continued to deepen.The two sides have more consensus on major international security issues and are more willing to support international security forums or meetings sponsored by each other. At the same time, this is also another good start for military cooperation in terms of high-level exchanges and visits between the two countries.

      Entering 2020, China-Russia military cooperation will continue to advance under the strategic leadership of the two heads of state. China-Russia military cooperation will become an important support for China to plan relations between major powers, shape the surrounding security environment, and serve the national defense and military construction.


      The author is a senior researcher with the Department of War Theory and Strategic Research under the PLA Academy of Military Science.

      Editor: Yu Hui

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