As tensions have dangerously flared-up near China-India and China-Tawan border, why is Russia also looking to strengthen its border near China?
China Russian President Vladimir Putin has begun efforts to increase his homeland’s military presence in the Far East along the border with China, amid growing foreign threats.
According to Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, Moscow’s decision to send reinforcements comes at the back of rising tensions in the “eastern strategic direction”, an area encompassing Russia’s eastern border with China and the wider Asia-Pacific.
While no specifications were made regarding what the new threats are, or where exactly the additional troops are being deployed, Shoigu pledged 500 units of new and modernised equipment for the region, as well as some improvements to the navy’s Northern Fleet.
According to an analyst at Moscow’s Carnegie Centre, Alexander Gabuev, Russia wants to make contingencies through sufficient military capabilities in a region, which could be severely affected because of a potential conflict, mainly due to brewing tensions between the navies of the US and China.
“Russia cannot be left defenceless and it also needs to operate its capabilities there, in terms of the air force, defence and personnel,” he said.
According to reports, Kremlin Spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov said Moscow’s concerns are centred around the acts of nations outside its region.
“All of these, of course, do not contribute to stability in this region,” said Peskov.
Tensions have been heightened between the United States and China in the South China Sea due to the Trump Administration’s increasing presence in the region, which have continued to rile Beijing, which claims almost the whole of the region.
Experts believe the US’ increasing ties with the island nation of Taiwan, which Beijing considers part of its own territory, may lead to a potential conflict in the region.
While relations between Russia and China have dramatically improved in recent years, Moscow’s decision to suspend the second batch of the lethal S-400 surface-to-air-missiles (SAM) to Beijing earlier this year had somewhahat questioned the alliance.
Beijing, which had received the first batch of the S-400 missiles in 2018, saw Moscow suspend further deliveries with no set-date in mind, which according to Chinese press reports, was due to Russia’s concern of the deal coming in the way of the PLA’s anti-pandemic actions.
This comes on the back of President Vladimir Putin’s homeland earlier accusing Beijing of spying, despite the nations enjoying considerable good ties with each other.