In day 14 of October (2021), China and Russia conducted naval exercises in the Sea of Japan. The action is part of joint exercises that extended over the following days. Despite the fact that the exercise took place in international waters and is something recurrent since 2012, you can see various criticisms from politicians and the press.
From the Japanese-American side, what is seen is a criticism of the threat that such exercises create, since it is understood as a military and diplomatic pressure on Japan, especially considering the dispute for control of the Senkaku Islands. (japanese name) or Diaoyu (chinese name). The islands have been controlled by Japan since World War II, but are also demanded by China.
It's not just a few rocky, uninhabited islands between the two countries., but of control over newly discovered oil and gas reserves.
Sino-Russian side, it is an exercise in readiness and alertness., seeking to increase the military response capacity in possible attacks. What is most striking is the level of collaboration that is more intense than in previous years. Effectively there was the use of weapons by one side by the other. From this type of cooperation, it is possible to expect the sharing of communication systems, as well as greater ease in creating joint command structures.
Although this does not mean a formal defense alliance, the path of cooperation is very promising.. And this is what is pointed out as a threat to regional stability.
If we go back to the end of June we will see the same kind of movement, but now with the reversed criticisms. At that time, the United States joined with Ukraine to carry out the largest western naval exercise ever carried out in the Black Sea..
Similarly, what is seen in both cases is the use of ships, planes and helicopters. Equally, in both statements by the promoting side of the exercises they go towards showing that there is a concern to be ready, necessary case, and that the exercises serve as a demonstration of power in order to keep the peace..
Going beyond the question of the real need for military exercises, It is important to highlight the difference in treatment between the two initiatives by the media. It shows the West's inability to perceive a structural change in international power relations. We continue to believe that actions aimed at maintaining the current "international order" are legitimate, since they guarantee a stability. Actions that question this order are bad because they would lead to instability.
Collaborations like this between China and Russia show that the “current order” is no longer sustainable. More than statements about potential threats, what we need to start reverberating is a more open assessment of how a new order is being brewed.