Home Contact Us
Search :


Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#4031, 10 July 2013
China and Russia: The Joint Sea 2013 Exercise
Vijay Sakhuja
Director, Research,
Indian Council of World Affairs,
New Delhi
Email: sakhuja.v@gmail.com

The ongoing China-Russia naval exercises code-named Joint Sea 2013, dubbed by the PLA Navy as the ‘single biggest deployment of military force in any joint foreign exercise’, merits attention. The Chinese flotilla comprising of seven ships, three helicopters and a special warfare unit sailed through the Tsushima Strait into the Sea of Japan and then to the Port of Vladivostok. The stated aim of the exercises is to simulate ‘recapturing ships seized by pirates, as well as search and rescue operations [and] a number of air defence, anti-submarine and anti-ship exercises’. The Chinese defence ministry has been quick to clarify that ‘the drills are not targeted at any third party, and that the aim is to deepen cooperation between the two militaries’.

China and Russia have conducted regular bilateral and multilateral military exercises since 2003. These include: (a) Coalition-2003; (b) Peace Mission-2005; (c) Peace Mission-2007; (d) Peace Mission 2009 (e) Peace Shield 2009 (f) Peace Mission 2010; (g) Joint Sea 2012 and (h) Peace Mission 2012. The Coalition-2003 and the Peace Mission series are anti terror exercises under the aegis of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), while the Peace Shield 2009     (held on September 18, 2009 in the Gulf of Aden in the Indian Ocean where both navies were deployed for counter piracy operation) and the Joint Sea series which started in 2012 are naval exercises.

The China-Russia joint military exercises are being watched with great interest by the US and its alliance partners, i.e. Japan and Republic of Korea. There is a belief that the Joint Sea 2013 is in response to the unprecedented US-Japan amphibious war games code-named Dawn Blitz conducted in June 2013 on San Clemente Island off the coast of California which were apparently designed and conducted with China as the target. Interestingly, the exercises began two days after the June 8, 2013 Summit meeting between President Obama and President Xi Jinping in California.
There is also a perception that the exercises are in response to the United States’ rebalancing strategy to Asia and China’s maritime disputes with Japan over the uninhabited Sankaku/Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea and Vietnam and Philippines over the Spratly Islands in South China Sea. Further, these exercises provide China and Russia the opportunity to reaffirm as significant regional powers and project power at sea.

Russia and China cooperative security partnership appears to be pitted against the US led collective security alliance in the Asia Pacific region. There were a number of reasons that resulted in the China-Russia rapprochement after the end of the Cold War. The two sides signed the Sino-Russian strategic partnership and in 2001 the Treaty for Good Neighbourliness, Friendship and Cooperation. Besides consolidating their partnership, China and Russia pushed forward their common agenda of a multi-polar world apparently to balance US hegemony emerging in the post Cold War period. The synergy also arose from the Chinese and Russian perception that the US had continued to deal with these states with a Cold War mentality. For instance, the RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific) exercises that began in 1971 had China and Russia simulated as enemies. However, in recent times, these two countries have participated in RIMPAC and this is a good example of competition and engagement.

The Sino-Russian partnership has been extremely beneficial to China and has resulted in military modernisation and upgrading its defence production capacity particularly the strategic submarines, missiles, fighter jets, and naval systems. Some of these have resulted in indigenous designs that are similar to Russian systems. Although China’s quest for advanced weapons systems from Russia continues, Moscow has been reluctant to provide it critical access to state-of-the-art military technologies due to fears that as China rises it may pose serious challenges to Russia. However, during the visit of President Xi Jinping to Moscow in March 2013, the two sides may have inked a defence deal and Russia agreed to supply Sukhoi multirole fighters i.e.. Su-35, and joint development and construction of four Lada-class diesel-electric submarines, two for each country.

The Russia-China partnership premised on Political-Economic-Military-Technological cooperation has the potential to emerge as an alternate to the US led alliance which currently dominates the region. It would be useful to see if Iran, given its good diplomatic, economic and military links with China and Russia, would be a collaborator. Likewise, the members of the SCO i.e. China Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and the strategic location of Central Asia with its large reserves of energy may provide substance to the China-Russia partnership. It will not be farfetched to suggest that China and Russia may even court Teheran, Damascus and Pyongyang to balance the US.

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary
D Suba Chandran
Resetting Kabul-Islamabad Relations: Three Key Issues
Can Pakistan Reset its Relations with Afghanistan?
The New Afghanistan: Four Major Challenges for President Ghani
Big Picture
Prof Varun Sahni
Understanding Democracy and Diversity in J&K
When Xi Met Modi: Juxtaposing China and India
Pakistan’s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Inevitability of Instability

Dateline Colombo

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera.
Sri Lanka: Making a Case for Change
Connecting Sri Lanka: Train to Jaffna
Stronger Democratic Values for a Better Tomorrow
Dateline Islamabad
Salma Malik
Burying the Past: A New Beginning for Pakistan and Afghanistan
India-Pakistan: Working Boundaries and Lines of Uncontrolled Fire
Of Inquilab and the Inquilabis
Dateline Kabul
Mariam Safi
Af-Pak: A Fresh Start
Can Afghanistan Become a "Perfect Place?"
Afghanistan: Political Crises After the Presidential Run-off
Dhaka Discourse
Prof Delwar Hossain
18th SAARC Summit: A Perspective from Bangladesh
Bangladesh in Global Forums: Diplomacy vs. Domestic Politics
Bangladesh: Diplomatic Manoeuvres at the UNGA

Eagle Eye
Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
India-US: Significance of the Second Modi-Obama Meet
Has President Obama Turned Lame Duck?
Modi-Obama Summit: Criticism for Criticism’s Sake?
East Asia Compass
Dr Sandip Mishra
Abe-Xinping Summit Meet: A Thaw in China-Japan Relations?
South Korea's Foreign Policy: More Rhetoric, Less Content?
India in East Asia: Modi’s Three Summit Meets

Himalayan Frontier
Pramod Jaiswal
Constitution-making: Will Nepal Miss its Second Deadline?
The Future of SAARC is Now
China in Nepal: Increasing Connectivity Via Railways
Prof Shankari Sundararaman
Indonesia's Pacific Identity: What Jakarta Must Do in West Papua
Modi in Myanmar: From ‘Look East’ to ‘Act East’
The ASEAN's Centrality in the Indo-Pacific Region

Sushant Sareen
Islamic State: Prospects in Pakistan
Pakistan: The Futility of Internationalising Kashmir
Pakistan: Why is Army against Nawaz Sharif?
Maritime Matters
Vijay Sakhuja
India and Maritime Security: Do More
Indian Ocean and the IORA: Search and Rescue Operations
Maritime Terrorism: Karachi as a Staging Point

Middle Kingdom
Srikanth Kondapalli
China and Japan: Will the Twain Never Meet?
Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping: Building a Closer Developmental Partnership
Nuke Street
Amb Sheelkant Sharma
US-Russia and Global Nuclear Security: Under a Frosty Spell?
India's Nuclear Capable Cruise Missile: The Nirbhay Test
India-Australia Nuclear Agreement: Bespeaking of a New Age

Red Affairs
Bibhu Prasad
Maoist Attack on the CRPF: Time for New Counter-strategies
Naxal Violence: Challenges to Jharkhand Polls
Naxalites and the Might of a Fragile Revolution
South Asian Dialectic
PR Chari
Defence Management in India: An Agenda for Parrikar
Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: Implications for Asian Security
Obama’s New Strategy towards the Islamic State: Implications for India

Spotlight West Asia
Amb Ranjit Gupta
Rise of the Islamic State: Implications for the Arab World
Islamic State: The Efficacy of Counter-strategies
War against the Islamic State: Political and Military Responses from the Region
Strategic Space
Manpreet Sethi
India-Russia Nuclear Vision Statement: See that it Delivers
Global Nuclear Disarmament: The Humanitarian Consequences Route
Nasr: Dangers of Pakistan's Short Range Ballistic Missile

The Strategist
Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
Maritime Combat Power in the Indo-Pacific
Of Lawrence, Sykes-Picot and al-Baghdadi
Strategic Estrangement: An Odd Bedfellow to Economic Engagement
Voice from America
Amit Gupta
China's Global Ambition: Need to Emulate Germany
Mid-Term Elections: So What If the US Swings Hard Right?
Modi’s US Visit: So Much Promise, Such Little Outcome

Regional Economy
Amita Batra
18th SAARC Summit: An Economic Agenda
Regional Economic Architecture: Is India Ready?
Looking East
Wasbir Hussain
India-China: Securitising Water

OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee

Related Articles
Kamlesh Kumar Agnihotri,
"The Navy and Band-Aid Diplomacy," 9 July 2013
Vijay Sakhuja,
"P-3C vs. P-8I: India, Pakistan and the Naval Balance," 21 April 2013
Vijay Sakhuja,
"Myanmar: Expanding Naval Ties with India," 8 April 2013
Rishika Chauhan,
"Book Review: Assessing Asian Military Strategies," 25 March 2013
Shanta Maree Surendran,
"China, Gwadar and Sea Lanes of Communication: ‘Economic Offence’ or ‘Active Defence’?," 25 February 2013
Rana Divyank Chaudhary,
"IPCS Discussion: The Evolving Situation in the East and South China Seas," 14 February 2013
Vijay Sakhuja,
"Gwadar: Can India Checkmate China?," 12 February 2013

Browse by Publications

Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Naxalite Violence 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
Article by same Author
Indian Ocean: Why India Seeks Demilitarisation

India and Maritime Security: Do More

Asia and the Seas: Looking Back to Look Forward

Indian Ocean and the IORA: Search and Rescue Operations

Pirates Prefer Energy Cargo

Maritime Terrorism: Karachi as a Staging Point

Xi Jinping and the Maritime Silk Road: The Indian Dilemma

Drug Smuggling across the Indian Ocean: Impact of Increasing Interceptions

Maritime Silk Road: Can India Leverage It?

Indian Ocean: Multilateralism Takes Root

BRICS: The Oceanic Connections

India-EU: Exploring Maritime Convergences

Rim of the Pacific Exercises (RIMPAC): Thaw in China-US Tensions?

Indian Ocean Navies: Lessons from the Pacific

The Oman Gas Pipeline: India’s Underwater Energy Supply Chain

Oman's Duqm Port and US Exit from Afghanistan

Search and Rescue at Sea: Challenges and Chinese Capabilities

Increasing Maritime Competition: IORA, IONS, Milan and the Indian Ocean Networks

The Maritime Silk Route and the Chinese Charm Offensive

China in the Indian Ocean: Deep Sea Forays

Antarctica and the Ice breakers: What should India prepare for?

Iran Navy: Developing Long Sea Legs

India, Sri Lanka & Maldives: A Maritime Troika Leads the Way

India and China in the Arctic: Breaching the Monopoly

P-3C vs. P-8I: India, Pakistan and the Naval Balance

Y! MyWeb
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2014
 January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
 2013  2012  2011  2010  2009  2008  2007  2006
 2005  2004  2003  2002  2001  2000  1999  1998

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map | IPCS Email
B 7/3 Lower Ground Floor, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi 110029, INDIA.
Tel: 91-11-4100 1900, 4165 2556, 4165 2557, 4165 2558, 4165 2559 Fax: (91-11) 41652560
© Copyright 2014, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.
        Web Design by http://www.indiainternets.com