Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Did Putin Really Go There?

Russia has been messing with Moldova, that is shifting to Russia under their new ruler, complete with their puppet break-away region of Transnistria hosting a rump Russian garrison to keep it a frozen territorial dispute. And now the Russians mess with NATO ally Romania:

Politicians in Bucharest have reacted with dismay and in some cases with anger after Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday presented his Moldovan counterpart Igor Dodon with an ancient map of Moldova that includes parts of modern Romania.

The map presented in the Kremlin includes today’s Republic of Moldova, the Romanian province of the same name, northern Bukovina - once part of Romania but now in Ukraine - and a part of the Dobrogea region, also in Romania.

It's to be a war of old maps, is it?

Look at all that former Chinese territory, from the major Russian city and base at Vladivostok up through the entire Far Eastern border area and the island of Sakhalin!

All territory taken from China by Russia in the 19th century.

And while China does not actively claim this territory now, an agreement that suspended China's claims ends in 2021.

Note too that while the Chinese claims have been suspended, China got an interesting concession from Russia a decade ago:

And an interesting little tidbit in the article states that in May 2005, Putin agreed to give 120 square kilometers of land back to China. The long-standing border dispute is settled according to the article. But I doubt it. China established two things by this small transaction. One, if this small chunk of land is really Chinese territory, in theory the rest of the Far Eastern territory that Russia took from China is no less Chinese. Second, the Chinese established that Russia can be forced to cede territory to them. This will not be the last time that land changes hands along the Russian-Chinese border. Count on that.

So if China exercises its option to exit that treaty with Russia, all of a sudden China's claims are back in play--and Russia admitted that China has a point.

I wonder what Peking thinks of Russia's map diplomacy?

UPDATE: This is relevant:

Earlier this week Chinese and Hong Kong media, including state-run Beijing tabloid, the Global Times, reported that China was deploying the intercontinental ballistic missile Dongfeng-41to its northernmost Heilongjiang province, bordering Russia.

The Russians say this deployment of a nuclear-capable missile is nothing to worry about given how they are all friendly like.

Say, this is relevant, too, now that you mention it:

Russia’s deadliest new nuclear weapon currently under development, the new super-heavy thermonuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) RS-28 Sarmat may be in trouble, the Russian Nuclear Forces Project (RNFP) reports.

Chinese nukes putting more of Russia within range and Russia's new nuke not working that well.

Thank goodness China is Russia's close friend, eh?