Russia Disappoints China -The tension over territorial disputes in the South China Sea have seems to overcome even the issue before of Senkaku/Diayu Islands. Vietnam and the Giant country are also involved in their worst political conflicts which are already decades over a platform of oil drilling near the Paracel Islands.
And because of the anti-China protests in Vietnam, this brought the relation of both countries’ to a temporary freeze. Moreover, the Philippines’ detention of Chinese fishermen has increased the discord between the China and the country.
And will all these conflicts occurring at the same time, the issue in the South China sea becomes even more serious.
Behind this picture of the issue, we have seen the United States criticizing China, expressing support for Vietnam and guarded the Philippine Military. But we haven’t heard Russia, China’s “strategic partner,” take a stand on this big issue, who now think that the relationship between Russia and China are not as good as before. Even on the Senkaku/Diaoyu dispute between Vietnam and China, Russia has kept a cryptic position.
In a report by Mu Chunshan, a Beijing-based journalist on The Diplomat he said, “ In my eyes, however, this does not mean that Russia’s is of two minds in its relationship with China.”
He also lists down the 4 main reasons of complicated political and strategic factors of both countries.
Chunshan said that China-Russia relationship is different from Philippine-US relations, for China and Russia are not allies. There is no treaty between the 2 countries, unlike US and Philippines as well as Japan and US, that sets obligations to provide political and military support to its partner. In short, this is the highest bilateral relationships in international relations. While China-Russia has a characteristic of strategic partnership, the 2 are not bound by treaty obligations.
Second, “Russia enjoys good relations with countries bordering the South China Sea and does not need to offend Southeast Asia for the sake of China. As noted above, Russia is not enthusiastic about publicly backing China on the South China Sea issue. One of the most important reasons for this is that Russia enjoys good relations with many of the Southeast Asian countries,” Chunshan continued.
Third, it is not necessary for Russia to directly seek out confrontation with the US over the South China Sea. Russia is currently focusing onEurope, especially in the occurring crisis in Ukraine that las already modified confrontation between the West and Russia.
“Given this, Russia has neither the desire nor the ability to confront the U.S. in the South China Sea,” he added.
He also highlighted that “The U.S. is only an influencing factor, not a determining factor that will determine the future of the situation. In this context, as an outsider and bystander, Russia has even less of a motivation to support China and criticize the U.S.”
Fourth, China’s development has actually caused some worries within Russia. To some west people, the tumult between China and other countries in the South China Sea could help restrict China’s “expansion” into other regions.
“In Russia, there has always been some concern that China’s development will lead to the Russian far east being gradually “occupied” by the Chinese, with this vast territory, along with its resources, becoming fodder for China’s development. Although Russian officials are optimistic about the potential for cooperation in the far east, they have never for a moment relaxed their guard against China’s so-called “territorial expansion.”” he said.
No need for China to be doubtful and feel disappointed about Russia’s viewpoint on the South China Sea Disputes.
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