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China-Russia joint drill is no military threat

(People's Daily Online)

08:04, July 05, 2013

The China-Russia "Joint Sea-2013" naval drill starts on July 5 at Peter the Great Bay and in the Sea of Japan. Concerns have been expressed by some foreign media about this joint drill, and there has been talk of a “China Threat”. Assertions have been made that this drill has a symbolic significance in terms of safeguarding the sovereignty of islands in the area, and represents a response to the US-Japan alliance. Some media have even claimed that the drill brings the prospects of war nearer. The reality is much less sensational, and such allegations will not be allowed to disrupt the joint drill between China and Russia.

In truth the joint drill is just one of a series of routine exercises between China and Russia in the context of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries. With the growth in strategic mutual trust, military forces from both countries have normalized and institutionalized joint naval exercises. These Sino-Russian joint drills are routine – they are no secret and have been in the public domain for some time. But some foreign powers seem to have difficulty in adapting to this new reality.

China and Russia will be conducting this drill with the objective of safeguarding peace; no threat is intended to any other party. The key focus of the drill will be exercises concerning joint escort and the recovery of kidnapped vessels, demonstrating the determination of both Chinese and Russian militaries to maintain regional and global peace as well as their will and their ability to deliver international humanitarian aid. There will be no aggressive element to the joint drill, and it is not targeted at any third party.

It is hard to ignore the fact that the countries which are doing most to hype up the China-Russia threat are those which make little effort to conceal their own determination to expand their military presence in the area in order to “contain” China.

China and Russia are conducting a joint drill; they are not forming an alliance. Every time that such drills are launched there are foreign countries and foreign media who take advantage of the opportunity to invoke ideas such as the “superpower game” or “military power restructuring”, and to fabricate threatening theories of “military alliances” and “collaborative confrontation”.

In fact, the joint drill reflects the new form of relationship between nations based on the principles of non-alignment, non-confrontation and non-targeting of any third country.

From the perspective of some countries, every military action on the part of China is labeled a “military threat”. They depict routine military exercises as demonstrations of deterrent power, describe the introduction of new equipment as preparations for war, and portray naval drills off the coast of local island chains as pursuit of maritime hegemony. China has no illusions as to these countries’ concealed intention to contain and surround China through both public opinion and military means.

China has consistently adhered to its non-aggressive national defense policy. In accordance with the trend of the times, the China-Russia "Joint Sea-2013" joint naval drills will strengthen Sino-Russian friendship and raise defensive security cooperation to a new level. We have no doubt that China-Russia joint military drills, conducted within a bilateral and multilateral framework, will contribute to regional stability and world peace.

Edited and Translated by Yao Chun, People's Daily Online

Read the Chinese version: 中俄例行联演不容乱贴标签
, source: People's Daily Overseas Edition, author: Zhou Yong

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