Russia, China plan for 2nd naval exercise in Mediterranean as tensions rise between the super powers

Beijing confirmed that the PLA Navy will launch a joint naval exercise with the Russian Navy in the Mediterranean Sea early next year, reports the state-run Global Times.

The announcement was made after Sergei Shoigu, the Russian defense minister, visited China and Pakistan.

Russia is apparently seeking support from its security partners to establish a new alliance against US influence from the Far East to Europe. It also allows China a chance to demonstrate its naval power on the Mediterranean Sea, considered traditionally Western waters for centuries.

Such an exercise means that the United States is no longer the only naval power capable of sending its fleet to the waters of other nations, according to the Global Times. The Chinese and Russian navies already launched a joint exercise on the sea earlier this year. Through normalizing the joint naval exercise in foreign waters, the military-to-military cooperation between China and Russia can be strengthened gradually.

What Russia fears most is that the United States or other members of the NATO will send military forces into Ukraine. To confront the influence and expansion of the US and NATO, Russia needs such cooperation from China to show the Western world that it is not fully isolated. Russia also expressed its dissatisfaction towards India by sending Shoigu to Pakistan, since New Delhi has purchased many of its weapons systems from Western nations.

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 PLA considering plan to build three more aircraft carriers

Beijing sees the Asia Pivot strategy of the Obama administration as an attempt by Washington to contain China in collaboration with its allies in the region, including Japan, South Korea, Australia and the Philippines, two of which — the Philippines and Japan — are currently engaged in territorial disputes with China over islands in the South and East China seas, respectively.

The Global Times said China is preparing to build the first of its planned two Type-001A aircraft carriers based on the Liaoning, although they also cited an article by Andrei Chang or Pinkov, the chief editor of Canada’s Kanwa Defense Review, that suggested that the vessel is already being built by China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation in Dalian, while the second ship will likely be built at the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai.

The displacement of the two carriers is likely to be between 30,000 and 40,000 tons, the report said

Although the carriers will be fully ocean-going vessels, they are more likely to be deployed in the South China Sea, due to the territorial disputes with the Philippines and Vietnam over the Spratlys and the Paracel islands in the region and to support its land reclamation efforts there.

The article also stated that there is debate as to using nuclear power for future carriers, adding that China will likely use its recently developed R0110 heavy gas turbine engine in the country’s first domestically built carrier and explore nuclear options for its second.

A nuclear-powered aircraft carrier would be a challenge for China technologically, despite the country’s large fleet of nuclear-powered submarines

Putin lashes out at US, West for destabilizing world

Russian President Vladimir Putin (RIA Novosti / Vitaly Belousov)

Vladimir Putin lashed out at the United States and the West for destabilizing the world order of checks and balances for its own gains. He also accused the West of inflaming the situation in Ukraine and said Russia is not interested in building an empire.

The Russian President delivered a fierce broadside aimed at the United States in a speech for the Valdai Club in Sochi, which is an informal group of scholars. He hit out at Washington for behaving without regard to the rest of the world’s interests

“The system of international relations needed some changes, but the USA, who believe they were the winners of the Cold War, have not seen the need for this.” He added that the US has been trying to create the world “for their own gains.” The Russian President added that because of this, regional and global security had been weakened.

During his speech, Putin used the Russian version of the Latin phrase, “Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi”(what is allowed for god, is not allowed for cattle,) alluding to the double standards used by Washington. full article

US sponsoring Islamic extremism

“It never ceases to amaze me how our partners have been guilty of making the same mistakes time and again. They have in the past sponsored Islamic extremists who were battling against the Soviet Union, which took place in Afghanistan. It was because of this the Taliban and Al-Qaeda was created,” the president added.

Putin at Valdai – World Order: New Rules or a Game without Rules 

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Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and former Chancellor of Austria Wolfgang Schussel during the final plenary meeting of the 11th session of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi October 24, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Vitaliy Belousov)

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and former Chancellor of Austria Wolfgang Schussel during the final plenary meeting of the 11th session of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi October 24, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Vitaliy Belousov)

“We have been trying to discuss the Ukraine issue with the EU for a long time, but we were told this was none of our business. They then put two countries against each other, which has led to countless destruction of infrastructure. When I asked why did they do this, they just shrug their shoulders and don’t have an answer,” Putin added.