China-Russia military

This screen grab obtained from a handout video released by the Russian Defence Ministry on August 29, 2022, shows Chinese soldiers marching along a railway platform upon their arrival for 'Vostok-2022' military exercises at the Sergeevsky training ground at Primorskiy (Maritime) Kray of the Russian Far East. (Handout/Russian Defence Ministry/AFP)

Will China's military exercises with SCO countries and Russia help it build a regional security order?

East Asian Institute academic Li Nan asserts that China’s joint military exercises with Central Asian countries and Russia are done in the context of furthering “strategic partnerships” to deal with domestic and intramural security threats but not external threats. While it is clear that China aims to build a regional security order in Central Asia, its adherence to non-interference may hinder its efforts.
The Ground Force under the Eastern Theatre Command of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducts a long-range live-fire drill into the Taiwan Strait, from an undisclosed location in this handout released on 4 August 2022. (Eastern Theatre Command/Handout via Reuters)

Implications of the Russia-Ukraine war for the People’s Liberation Army

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is closely watching the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, with the Russian army continuing to meet stubborn resistance from the Ukrainian forces. Japanese academic Sugiura Yasuyuki examines how the PLA is learning from the crisis and reevaluating its military doctrine in the case of Taiwan, especially following the recent visit to Taiwan by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
A visitor holds his mobile phone near a screen showing Chinese President Xi Jinping at Wuhan Parlor Convention Center in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, 31 December 2020. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

China's softening stance on its ‘no limits’ relations with Russia

The lateral move of “Russia expert” Le Yucheng from the Chinese foreign ministry to the National Radio and Television Administration is undoubtedly a career setback for the man once tipped to be the next foreign minister. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong explores possible reasons for the move and opines that it could indicate Beijing's changing attitude towards Russia and the war in Ukraine.
In this handout picture taken and released by the State Emergency Service of Ukraine on 15 March 2022, firefighters work to extinguish a fire in a housing block hit by shelling in the Sviatoshynsky district in western Kyiv. (AFP)

Lessons from Ukraine: Russia might fall into decline by going against global sentiment

As the Russia-Ukraine war rages on, Huang Yuan notes that the US response to Russia may well be an indication of its approach if a conflict were to break out in the Taiwan Strait between mainland China and Taiwan. He also cautions that any military action that disregards global sentiment may well lead to the invading state coming apart and its leader falling from grace.
A man leaves an apartment building damaged after shelling the day before in Ukraine's second biggest city of Kharkiv on 8 March 2022. (Sergey Bobok/AFP)

Claim of US bioweapons operation in Ukraine pushes China closer towards Russia

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine just about two weeks old, a war of words has broken out between the US and China over the alleged presence of US biowarfare research facilities in Ukraine. China seems to be throwing in its lot in with Russia, calling for the US to come clean and to allow multilateral inspections. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong analyses the recent developments, which is reminiscent of the bickering that ensued when Wuhan lab-leak accusations were heaped on China two years ago.
A Russian service member jumps off a T-72B3 main battle tank during drills held by the armed forces of the Southern Military District at the Kadamovsky range in the Rostov region, Russia, 3 February 2022. (Sergey Pivovarov/Reuters)

Does Beijing benefit from US-Russia confrontation over Ukraine?

Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have met face to face ahead of the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics on 4 February against the background of Russia-Ukraine tensions. According to Chinese state media, they discussed Sino-Russian relations and a series of major issues concerning international strategic security and stability. It appears that a new deal for more Russian gas to be supplied to China was also a highlight of the discussions. Zaobao’s associate editor Han Yong Hong explains why it is not China's aim to goad Russia on or get involved in the Ukraine crisis, and any suggestion of "Ukraine today, Taiwan tomorrrow" may be overstated.
The commissioning ceremony of the UMS Minye Kyaw Htin, a Chinese-made Type 035 (NATO code-class Ming) submarine. (@KushalSinha001/Twitter)

Myanmar’s submarines: The race is on between China and Russia

Last month, Myanmar became the first Southeast Asian country to take delivery of a made-in-China submarine, the UMS Minye Kyaw Htin. Given that the EU will not sell arms to Myanmar, that leaves China and Russia as possible arms suppliers. The latest sale gives China an advantage over Russia to supply Myanmar with a new fleet of submarines, as both countries ignore US calls to ban arms sales to Myanmar. This means that price and geopolitics will decide which country wins.
Tourists wearing face masks walk along Red Square in central Moscow, Russia, on 20 October 2021. (Alexander Nemenov/AFP)

China’s alliance with Russia is solidifying

Even though several analyses have it that the China-Russia relationship is filled with underlying tensions and can break without warning, Loro Horta believes that the alliance they have can stand the test of time, given a mutual dependency for resources as well as common geopolitical interests and threat perceptions. Instead of warning Russia about China, Washington may want to worry more about the state of its own alliances.
Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in a video conference call with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, 28 June 2021. (Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via Reuters)

Russia and China in Southeast Asia: Pragmatic cooperation against US primacy

Russia-China relations are at a historic high due to mutual concerns over US primacy, economic synergies and strong interpersonal ties between their national leaders. However, despite deepening military cooperation and closer diplomatic coordination, a formal alliance between Russia and China is not likely as this would constrain their strategic autonomy and undercut key foreign policy narratives. The South China Sea dispute is the most complex issue and a potential fault line in Russia-China relations in Southeast Asia. While Moscow has been broadly supportive of China’s position, Beijing’s jurisdictional claims threaten Russia’s lucrative energy interests in Southeast Asia.