‘Russia & China responding jointly to the threat of American imperialism’
The British Royal Navy scrambled to shadow three Chinese warships passing through UK waters heading to war games with Russia in the Baltic Sea.
The Chinese flotilla had been conducting exercises in the Mediterranean, before moving round Europe.
On entering the North Sea, Dutch vessels escorted them further on their journey.
Beijing's ships will join a few Russian ones to take part in joint exercises on Friday.
RT: Do you think it was a justified reaction, given that these ships were sailing so close to the UK mainland?
John Wight: No, it is part of the ongoing propaganda campaign that is being conducted in the Western media to try and paint Russia and China as a kind of evil empire, a recrudescence of Cold War nostrums and to try to demonize both countries. They are only abiding by their right to sail in international waters and do nothing wrong, nothing illegal. But the Western media has decided to try and inflame the situation as a part of this ongoing Cold War paradigm that we have seen grow in the last few years [Note: The Chinese flotilla passed through the Strait of Dover via the English Channel, which is British and French territory].
RT: It is the first time since 2012 that Russia and China have decided to hold joint drills, isn’t it? Is that just a reflection of the tension that is developing worldwide?
JW: It certainly and most definitely is. As testament to China’s growing military capability in the last few years, the Chinese government has been placing a lot of resources into upgrading its military and to bolding that capability particularly at sea, and the fact it is able to deploy naval assets thousands of miles from its territorial waters sends a strong statement and obviously speaks to the growing alliance between China and Russia, Which given they both face a common threat from US imperialism and its allies, makes absolute perfect sense.
So the escorting that we’re seeing – this is now a new normal – every time one side or the other conducts military exercises, the other side has to deploy its own assets to meet those exercises to send a message that they are capable of responding to any threat that’s implied. There is a danger implicit in these situations, of course, particularly in the air. We saw recently where the Russian Defense Minister’s aircraft as it was flying to Kaliningrad was being shadowed by a NATO aircraft that came perilously close and had to be chased away by the Defense Ministry’s military escort. So there is a danger implicit in these situations. But these situations will continue, given where we are in international affairs.
RT: The fact that Chinese ships are so far away from home and operating around Europe – isn’t it surprising?
JW: It certainly will. It won’t surprise people who have been following closely these events, as I said. China has been putting a lot of resources into its military, and now has a seaborne nuclear deterrent; five nuclear submarines, one aircraft carrier that has just entered service; one in construction, one is just to enter service. Many experts are predicting that China’s navy will be as big as the US navy in 2020 in every category apart from aircraft carriers. So China is very serious about growing its military capability. As I say it faces a threat – it is involved in a territorial dispute in the South China Sea with the US and its allies. So it has a good reason to increase its military capability. That sends a very strong message to the West, to the US, that it is able to look after its own interest in conjunction with its Russian ally… Russia and China are responding to the threat of American imperialism, in which those in Washington refuse to wake up to the reality of a multipolar world…
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.