What is driving Russia and China together

The Russian and Chinese militaries have in recent times conducted joint bomber flights and military (especially naval) drills and coordinated a somewhat united front against shared geopolitical challenges in the Asia-Pacific region. Although much of the international attention is focused on the Indo-Pacific littoral and the South China Sea, the Sea of Japan and the approaches to the Pacific have seen tensions rise as well. 

Japan’s willingness to accommodate the United States’ Pacific Deterrence Initiative, which is aimed at positioning precision-strike missiles against China, has implications for Russia too. Because of their intermediate-range and area-denial role, there is no reason the same missiles can’t target the Russian Far East.

The presence of US forces and US-supplied advance hardware like the prospective Aegis air defense ships, F-35s belonging to both Japanese and US forces prospectively operating from Japanese Izumo-class ships, inspires not unfounded anxiety in Russia.

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