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Russia, China can expand military cooperation without formally creating alliance — expert

Moscow and Beijing can coordinate their steps in their stand-off with the West to disable the opponent from concentrating forces in one direction, Vasily Kashin noted

MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. Russia and China can take coordinated steps in the sphere of military cooperation without formally creating a military alliance in response to the West’s inflammatory actions, Director of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies at the Higher School of Economics Vasily Kashin told TASS on Tuesday.

At present, there is no need for creating a Russia-China military alliance because there is no threat of a real stand-off with the United States and NATO, the expert pointed out.

Also, such an alliance will create a host of problems in relations with other countries in the region. In particular, it could have consequences for Russia with regard to its contacts with India and Vietnam, he added.

In the expert’s opinion, Russia and China further expanding their military cooperation "without formalities" is the most likely scenario for both countries.

As the expert pointed out, Moscow and Beijing can coordinate their steps in their stand-off with the West "to disable the opponent from concentrating forces in one direction and thus create problems for it on different fronts." "This is a natural scenario and it requires no formal agreement on an alliance," he said.

Russia-China military cooperation can embrace joint military drills in various regions of the world, Kashin said. "For example, synchronized military measures by Russia in Europe and by China in Asia, joint patrolling," the expert explained.

"I believe that military cooperation will only expand," the expert added. "This is the most promising area and it really causes the opponent’s concern, creates problems, and this is what needs to be done."

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to China on February 4 and his talks with China’s leader Xi Jinping focused on further developing and bolstering bilateral ties, coordinating actions on the international scene and elaborating joint approaches to pressing issues and global security challenges.

Following the results of the talks that lasted more than two and a half hours, the leaders of both countries adopted a joint statement, which emphasized that friendship between Russia and China "has no limits" and "there are no ‘forbidden’ areas of cooperation." The document also said that Moscow and Beijing stood against NATO’s further expansion and called on the North Atlantic alliance to give up the Cold War approach.