Thursday, March 09, 2006

Analysis: Russian & Chinese joint military manoeuvres

The following is the draft translation of a political analysis article written in Arabic.

Question: On the 25th of August 2005, the common Chinese-Russian manoeuvres, in which different types of forces such as ships, marines, bombers, helicopters, fighting planes participated, came to an end… does this signify that a serious closeness is being born between China and Russia? And what effect does it have on the European Union and America?

Answer: Some military Russian and Chinese forces began common military manoeuvres in the period between 18-25 august 2005. They began in Vladivostic, far east of Russia, then moved to the Chinese territories in the peninsula of Shan Dong. Different forces participated in these manoeuvres, their number came to 10 thousand in each army. The manoeuvres included ground, air and marine work in the yellow sea in front of Shang Dong province, some of these works were: training on sea siege, evacuation operations and also fighting against “common threat”. These manoeuvres were given the name of “peace mission 2005”. These manoeuvres were so intense that they became so obvious as Russia has always had bad relations with China since the Soviet Union when Khruschev made an agreement with Kennedy in 1961. It was so unexpected that such negotiations will take place between Russia and China until the beginning of this year’s spring when the Russian prime minister, Yuri Palovisky, visited Peking and at the end of his talks with his Chinese homologue, Lyang, he declared that Russia and China have agreed “on carrying out their first common military plan next autumn” according to what Al-Jazeera net published in 18.03.2005.

To realize the effect of these plans, we must go backwards a little bit to see that the American policy towards China meant imposing isolation on it and putting obstacles that would prohibit the expansion of China’s international relations. America succeeded in 1989 on imposing embargo on the exportation of weapons from America and the EU to China following the oppression of Chinese tanks to the students’ movement in Peking. America also created problems for China each time it developed an international commercial relation. America’s international control continued especially in the beginning of the nineties when the Soviet Union collapsed and America became an international star and Europe walked with America (with harmony) except for a few simple troubles from Britain behind the scenes. American policy continued in isolating China on the international level and it blockade on her economically and military, this policy carried on successfully somehow with the support of Europe. However, some of the events of the 11th September 2001 and the American arrogance in (attacking the world) and its negligence of Europe’s opinion concerning the attack on Iraq, then -and which is the most important- drowning in the dilemma of Afghanistan and Iraq, all that created a suitable atmosphere for Europe to (disturb) America and knock on the hot doors which affect her, some of these doors were:
1. It started founding justifications for not continuing the weapon embargo on China,
2. Russia began also to originate gatherings with China and some of the countries of central Asia to
confront the American influence in the region, the result of that was the conference of Shanghai.
3. Then these great manoeuvres between China and Russia.

As for the attempts of the EU to raise the embargo on weapons, it started with the decision of the head of the presidents of the EU in December 2004 which included “to work on raising the embargo on the weapons on China by the end of June 2005.” This issue was stirred strongly since March of this year, especially in June of this year, and during the conference of the European summit to an extent which disturbed America clearly. Shroeder and Chirac had adopted this idea -raising the embargo-, Shroeder declared in his speech in front of the German parliament in the middle of this year “I am convinced that the embargo became one of the issues which could be cancelled -an extra matter- because China today is no more China of 1989.” Before that and in March of this year during the last visit of Chirac to Japan, he declared in a press conference with the Japanese prime minister, saying “there’s no fear of resuming the selling of European weapons for China as long as the matter is not concerned with delicate weapons or technology.” After that, Chirac called the Chinese prime minister as was reported by the new Chinese news agency saying “it is a must to cancel the old embargo of selling European weapons because that will help in encouraging the relations between China and the EU.” As was reported by Al-Jazeera on 02.04.2005.

It was obvious that these declarations were to encourage the international relations with China and were a strike for the American intentions in isolating China. America considered this issue as a challenge, as the minister of state for foreign affairs in Washington, Nicholas Berns, described raising the embargo by saying “it is a direct challenge for the interests of the U.S.A” and the minister of foreign affairs, Rice, considered it “a wrong indication” as was reported by the German financial times on the internet on 16.04.2005.

2. As for Russia originating gatherings with China in the face of America and its influence in central Asia was the gathering of Shanghai which includes Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The summit of Shanghai announced last June what was considered a challenge for America in central Asia, and the announcement of the summit was “demanding Washington to renew the time of the evacuation of its bases in central Asia.” After that, Bakayeiv, president of Kyrgyzstan, and after beginning his presidential missions, demanded to hasten the evacuation of the American bases in his country. Also Karimov, president of Uzbekistan, demanded America to evacuate its bases and fix a 6 months period for that. Although America tried to originate an antagonistic gathering from its allied countries in the region, (such as Ukraine, Georgia, Poland and Lithuania) yet the gathering of “Shanghai” was more effective.

3. After that came the manoeuvres of the Chinese Russian forces which was a strike in the heart for the American path towards China. Although the military leaders in both countries tried to emphasize that these manoeuvres do not carry a threat for anyone, yet it’s happening so intensely and specially that Washington wasn’t invited to attend these manoeuvres as a supervisor according to what the traditions of peace relations among the disputing countries require. Add to that what accompanied these manoeuvres from a distant American supervision and what was issued by the Pentagon concerning it. Washington increased its supervision in the region of the pacific ocean near the site of the Chinese-Russian manoeuvres, at a time when the Pentagon resources declared its special concern about the missions of using the Russian strategic missiles and the experiments of shooting missiles which crossed the continents and using plane carriers in these manoeuvres.

Thats why what was declared by “Jean Kanrojen”, professor of the international relations at the Chinese national university, by saying “the first aim of these manoeuvres is the United Nations because both sides want to improve its negotiating positions concerning security policy and economy.” which is a saying that has a great deal of truth. From what mentioned, it is clear that these manoeuvres is a disturbance or more for America, and a strong strike for the policy of America towards China because these manoeuvres mean making China a partner in the international impact and not to keep it isolated from the international theatre. It also indicates the wavering situation of America because of its crises in Iraq and Afghanistan, or else Russia and China wouldn’t have dared to challenge it in such a way to the extent that it wasn’t invited as a supervisor.

Two points concerned with the question are left:

The first: About the attitude of the EU, it clearly encourages the disturbance of America especially by Chirac then Shroeder. Also Britain isn’t absent from this struggle, it stands behind the scenes to inflame it whenever there is an opportunity to do so. For example, it was Britain which encouraged its allies in Australia to improve its relations with China and to raise the embargo on weapons, it also encouraged the well noticed Indian closeness to China under the rule of its agents from the Congress party. Aljazeera
reported on 02.06.2005 “China, India and Russia emphasized in the meeting of their foreign ministers in Bladifustot at the far east of Russia that it wants to cooperate in order to guarantee stability in the region. This is besides what was obvious from the attitude of Europe concerning the manoeuvres where it considered it from the affairs of the sovereignty of the countries. All that shows that the European Union, France, Germany and Britain, encourages such deeds.

The second: what was stated in the question about the serious closeness between Russia and China? Declarations were published which insinuates that the closeness is serious, such as the declaration of the general chief of the Chinese military forces “these manoeuvres will consolidate the relations between Moscow and Peking and it also will lead to a kind of military unity between the 2 armies or the 2 countries in confronting any mutual danger.” But what is nearer to reality that what happened is a harmony of interests, China wants to get out of its isolation that is to have international impact, and Russia wants to draw the attention for its being a power which has balance and to make America fear it in the international policy especially in Central Asia, that is why this closeness was a result of periodic circumstances and not strategic circumstances. As for the declaration of the chief general or other military officers, they are not political declarations, therefore such declarations about the unity of the army or the 2 countries shouldn’t be taken seriously.

23 Rajab 1426 AH
28.08.2005 CE

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