Sunday, September 30, 2018

Keeping Their Enemy Too Close For Comfort

The Russian Vostok exercises in their Far East featured invited Chinese troops, plus an uninvited guest:

Russia recently concluded the 2018 edition of the massive Vostok exercise series that included Chinese forces for the first time. At Moscow’s invitation, Beijing sent People’s Liberation Army soldiers, helicopters, tanks – and one uninvited Chinese surveillance ship.

A PLA Navy Dongdiao-class auxiliary general intelligence (AGI) shadowed Russian Navy assets for the length of the at-sea portion of the exercise while Chinese and Mongolian troops exercised ashore, a U.S. official confirmed to USNI News.

China does this--like with America:

While monitoring an adversaries’ exercises with ships that can collect signals intelligence has been common practice for decades and is legal under international law, surveilling an ally while training alongside that ally in an exercise is an uncommon practice – uncommon, but this won’t be the first time China has deployed an uninvited surveillance ship to a friendly exercise. China was formally invited to participate in the 2014 Rim of the Pacific exercise, and Beijing sent four invited PLAN warships plus an uninvited Dongdiao AGI to track the exercise off the coast of Hawaii.

So China treats their close "ally" Russia the same way they treat potential enemy America? Huh.

Chinese participation in the Vostok operation was no alliance activity, as I wrote before the exercise:

Russia can pretend this is an exercise with China, but practically speaking it is a Russian exercise to see if they stand a chance of defending the Far East from China, short of using nukes--while China watches and takes notes.

China sent more note takers than Russia perhaps wanted, eh?

Seriously, Russia and China are not allies.