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South China Sea on a Boil
Russia Plans to Make a Splash in South China Sea

Vladimir Putin has found another geopolitical pressure point to press: the South China Sea. TASS reports:

A detachment of ships of Russia’s Pacific Fleet is expected to make a voyage to the South China Sea at the beginning of September, the chief press officer of Eastern Military District for the Pacific Fleet, Captain 2nd Rank Vladimir Matveyev told TASS.

The ships will take part in a major naval exercise of the Chinese Naval Force codenamed Joint Sea 2016.

“At the beginning of September, a detachment consisting of the big antisubmarine ships Admiral Tributs and Admiral Vinogradov, the big amphibious ship Peresvet, the sea towboat Alatau, and the tanker Pechenga will head for Zhanjiang in China,” Capt. Matveyev said.

Putin continues to pursue a poor man’s foreign policy—applying Russian power in just the right places for the greatest destabilizing effect. That it’s been working so well in Europe and the Middle East tells us more about the weakness of the West than it does about Russia’s strength.

Some analysts are already fretting about a growing Moscow-Beijing alliance, but those concerns are, as always, overblown. China and Russia are united only insofar as they both oppose the post-Cold War global order. In Central Asia, for example, both countries are competing for influence. And, ultimately, Russia likes it when oil is expensive and China likes it when oil is cheap.

Yet even though Russia and China aren’t about to be best friends and even though the presence of a few Russian ships won’t change much in the South China Sea from an American perspective, Moscow’s involvement still adds a measure of chaos to an increasingly disorderly part of the world.

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  • Beauceron

    “insofar as they both oppose the post-Cold War global order”

    If you haven’t noticed, an increasing number of the Wests own citizens oppose the post-Cold War global order. That order amounts to a few things 1) mass immigration from the third world which is in the process of erasing the previous populations and stripping people of their traditions and culture and destroying their countries from within 2) making sure big business makes money and the rich get richer 3) placing power in the hands of an out of touch but smug elite

  • f1b0nacc1

    Putin might enjoy his fun for now, but there is a price for being too closely tied to the Chinese, and its name is Siberia. The Chinese have never forgiven or forgotten Russia’s seizure of Siberia, and they want it (and its resources) back.

  • Matt B

    “That it’s been working so well in Europe and the Middle East tells us more about the weakness of the West than it does about Russia’s strength.”

    Bingo. It doesn’t matter how powerful Russia is when the West’s leadership void is so vast and merely injecting chaos is a victory.

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