Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Monday, August 15, 2005

The Panda and the Russian Bear play war games

By Aussiegirl

Here come the military exercises. Don't miss the reference at the end of the clip to the possible sale of strategic, cruise-missile-capable bombers to China. And don't miss the inclusion of Pakistan and Iran and India into the group. America must beware of these emerging alliances and threats and be prepared to act pre-emptively.

Peter Brookes: Beijing Bear Hug

This week will see an ominous precedent : The first-ever joint Chinese-Russian military exercises kick off Thursday in Northeast Asia.

The exercises are small in scale - but huge in implication. They indicate a further warming of the "strategic partnership" that Moscow and Beijing struck back in 1996.

More importantly, they signal the first real post-Cold War steps, beyond inflammatory rhetoric, by Russia and China to balance - and, ultimately, diminish - U.S. power across Asia.

If America doesn't take strategic steps to counter these efforts, it will lose influence to Russia and China in an increasingly important part of the world.

[...]The exercise also gives Russia an opportunity to strut its military wares before its best customers - Chinese generals. Moscow is Beijing's largest arms supplier, to the tune of more than $2 billion a year for purchases that include subs, ships, missiles and fighters.

Rumors abound that Moscow may finally be ready to sell strategic, cruise-missile-capable bombers such as the long-range TU-95 and supersonic TU-22 to Beijing - strengthening China's military hand against America and U.S. friends and allies in Asia.

Russia and China are working together to oppose American influence all around their periphery. Both are upset by U.S. support for freedom in the region - notably in the recent Orange (Ukraine), Rose (Georgia) and Tulip (Kyrgyzstan) revolutions - all of which fell in what Moscow or Beijing deems its sphere of influence.

[...]Moreover, it shouldn't be overlooked that the "Shanghai Six" have invited Iran, India and Pakistan to join the group as observers, expanding China and Russia's influence into South Asia and parts of the Middle East.


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