Japan in Their Own Words (JITOW)/日本からの意見

The First Sino-Russian Joint Military Exercises and Their Impact on the Japan-U.S. Relationship
MAGOSAKI Ukeru / Professor, National Defense Academy

October 11, 2005
China and Russia carried out their first joint military exercises this year on China's Shandong Peninsula and in the Yellow Sea area. Starting on August 18, the week-long exercises involved 10,000 troops. These military exercises alone do not mean that the two countries now have a system of responding militarily to a common enemy. The two countries share a long border, which means they have inherent, strategically-conflicting elements. They are not expected to share a common military strategy in the near future. However, China and Russia, which had military conflicts in the 60's and 70's, have come as far as conducting joint military exercises; they seem to have deepened their recognition that strengthening their relationship on various issues, including military cooperation, is beneficial for both their countries. The political and military significance of this event is not to be underestimated.

After military tensions tightened across the Taiwan Strait in 1996, China moved closer to Russia, and that same year, the two countries agreed to establish a "strategic partnership for the security, stability, and economic prosperity of the Pacific region." Since then, the following international situation, and foreign and domestic situations of both countries have made it more important now than in 1996 for the two countries to strengthen their relationship:
(1) Under the Bush administration, the United States has consolidated its position as the world's sole superpower, both politically and militarily.
(2) The Putin administration of Russia, saddled with the Chechen problem and economic woes, is increasingly wary of the U.S.
(3) The second Bush administration includes those who support a hard line policy against China.

Under these circumstances, China and Russia have both found merit in conducting joint military exercises. First, they wanted to show their opposition to the unipolar military supremacy of the U.S., especially when applied to the Far East. Second, they wanted to use every opportunity to show that they would prevent Taiwan from seeking independence, even resorting to arms if necessary. Third, China used the occasion to buy arms from Russia to promote mutual cooperation—Russia secured a market for its arms, and China was able to buy high-tech arms which are hard to get. Whether these moves have an actual impact or not is an open question, but their political and diplomatic significance cannot be ignored.

Let us take Uzbekistan in Central Asia as an example. Ever since 9/11, the U.S. had a military base in Uzbekistan, but on July 29 this year, Uzbek President Islam Karimov asked the U.S. to leave. His primary reason was fear that the continued existence of the U.S. military base will give Islamic extremists who oppose its existence an excuse to gain power. He also feared U.S. pressure for democratization. When he made that move, he was certainly aware of the Sino-Russian military cooperation in opposition to U.S. supremacy, and he must have assumed that his move will have the support of China and Russia.

How is the U.S. going to respond to the Sino-Russian joint military exercises? For the time being, the U.S. government is taking a wait-and-see attitude, trying to play down the significance of the exercises. But the impact of these exercises on U.S. policy goes much deeper than what appears on the surface. Peter Brookes of the Heritage Foundation suggests the U. S. take the following steps:
(1) take these exercises into account when planning the U.S. military strategy (specifically, in the Quadrennial Defense Review)
(2) strengthen the U.S.-Japan relationship
(3) strengthen the U.S.-India relationship
(4) develop a long-term, favorable U.S.-Russia relationship

The second point, the strengthening of the U.S.-Japan relationship is in accord with the current trend. The U.S. has more reason than ever to strengthen its relationship with Japan, and Japan, for its part, will cooperate with the U.S. in response.

The writer is Professor at Japan's National Defense Academy and former Japanese Ambassador to Iran.
The English-Speaking Union of Japan

孫崎 享 / 防衛大学校 教授

2005年 10月 11日

(1) ブッシュ政権樹立後、米国の政治軍事的一極支配体制が一段と促進
(2) ロシアのプーチン政権はチェチェン、経済等で対米警戒心増加
(3) ブッシュ政権第2期目から米国政権内に対中国強行路線が台頭


(1) 米国戦略への反映(具体的にはQDRへの反映)
(2) 日米関係強化
(3) 米印関係強化
(4) 長期的に対ロ関係改善模索


一般社団法人 日本英語交流連盟

English Speaking Union of Japan > Japan in Their Own Words (JITOW) > The First Sino-Russian Joint Military Exercises and Their Impact on the Japan-U.S. Relationship