Monday, January 09, 2017

Two Birds With One Stone?

Russia has offered to sell the Philippines aircraft and submarines. Those are weapons that could be used against China if Duterte's odd behavior does not actually flip the Philippines away from alliance with America against Chinese territorial aggression.


Russia is ready to supply the Philippines with sophisticated weapons including aircraft and submarines and aims to become a close friend of the traditional U.S. ally as it diversifies its foreign ties, Russia's ambassador said on Wednesday.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has thrown the future of Philippine-U.S. relations into question with angry outbursts against the former colonial power and some scaling back of military ties while taking steps to boost ties with China and Russia.

Duterte's rants so far haven't swayed much of the Philippines establishment away from America. Still, this is a nice shot at America. So that's nice for Moscow.

But aside from that, could this just be an excuse for a Russia too weak to openly oppose China to bolster a potential foe of China who could distract China from a land focus on Russia's Far East taken from China in the 19th century?

Is this offer to arm the Philippines really an anti-China measure by Russia as much as a slap at America?

If Russia really wants to distract China away from Russia, Russia should offers submarines to Taiwan. Or, if Taiwan is serious about building their own subs, selling the technology and manufacturing expertise. Or both, of course.