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19 Dec, 2019 13:43

Russia has no ‘military alliance’ with China, but the US is seeking a military bloc in East Asia – Putin

Russia has no ‘military alliance’ with China, but the US is seeking a military bloc in East Asia – Putin

Moscow has no military alliance with Beijing and doesn’t plan on forming such a bloc, Vladimir Putin has said. Yet, Russia will still help its ‘strategic partner’ enhance its defensive capabilities.

Asked about Russia’s military and technical cooperation with China, which a Japanese journalist described as a potential indicator of a looming military alliance between the two neighbors, Putin said it is not Moscow and Beijing that seek to form a military bloc in East Asia but the US and its allies, Japan and South Korea.

The US, for its part, has recently ramped up its efforts to establish a new NATO-like bloc in East Asia. Back in 2017, the so-called Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the Quad) – the platform for an informal strategic dialogue between the US, Japan, Australia and India was resurrected. This September, the Quad was elevated from being a forum for high-ranking officials to a ministerial-level after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hosted talks of the foreign ministers of all member states.

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Putin criticized the approach taken by Washington in the region as “counterproductive.” An absence of a formal military alliance does not mean that the two “strategic partners” won’t cooperate in the field of defensive technologies, according to Putin. Russia continues to help China develop its own missile early warning system.

That said, “the missile early warning system is a purely defensive one.”

This system does not push a nation to any form of aggression but only helps it defend its territory.

Besides, such a development would not significantly affect the regional or global balance of power as China is capable of creating such a system on its own, Putin argued. Russia only helps to develop it faster.

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While little is known about the early warning system developed for China, such complexes usually involve a network of ground-based radars and orbital satellites. The devices are used for long-range detection of missile launches, giving a nation’s air defenses the maximum time to respond to a sudden strike. Since it takes a matter of minutes for a strategic missile to reach its target, such a system is a game-changer, significantly increasing the chances of repelling a massive – and in all likelihood, nuclear – strike.

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