China Mixes Conciliatory Moves with Russian Coziness
- The WSJ notes that it’s been a big diplomatic week for China, with deals with Australia, South Korea and the US.
- But at the same time Russia and China agreed to conduct joint naval exercises not just in the Pacific, but also in the Mediterranean next year, reports the International Business Times. CMC vice chairman Xu Qiliang said military cooperation with Russia was a priority.
- The West Australian has some pictures of the 4 Russian ships which visited the Coral Sea (without entering Australian waters) during the G20 summit. There’s also a video below from the Royal Australian Air Force.
- Indian Prime Minister Modi addressed a joint session of the Australian Parliament to urge the two countries to get closer, including on security matters in the Indian ocean. Anthony Bergin at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute thinks this makes a lot of sense, but the two nations are also pursuing other important bilateral ties, including with Japan. Is the distance between India, Japan, and Australia and liability or an asset for their trilateral relationship [The Diplomat]?
- Joint Chiefs Chairman Dempsey hinted [Defense News] that the Pentagon’s forthcoming FY16 budget request will be higher than sequestration budget caps.
Colombian Peace Process
- FARC rebels have agreed to release [BBC] an Army general whose capture had led to a freeze of peace talks with the Colombian government. As BN Americas points out, this may be an opportunity to accelerate and finalize a peace agreement.
Russia’s Pivots to Pacific, Space
- Kosmos 2499, a satellite launched by Russia last May, has been spotted executing curious orbital changes. Is it meant to maintain other sats, spy on them, or destroy them? Russian Space Web | New Scientist.
- The video below of Russian ships paying a surprise visit to the southern Pacific comes courtesy of the RAAF: