Experts wary about China’s new coziness with Russia in the South China Sea

The alarm should have sounded a couple of months ago when Chinese commentators began quoting Vladimir Putin, that “if a fight is inevitable, go and fight first”.

But warning bells are ringing loudly now after China declared this week Russia will send warships into the disputed South China Sea to conduct joint navy exercises.

A Chinese guided missile destroyer takes part in a week-long China-Russia navy exercise int the East China Sea off ...

A Chinese guided missile destroyer takes part in a week-long China-Russia navy exercise int the East China Sea off Shanghai in 2014. Photo: AP

The startling development will bring yet another great power into what has fast become a global flashpoint right in Australia’s neighbourhood.

And you shouldn’t be surprised that Australia is seen very much as a player in this growing dispute.

Just have a read of a firecracker editorial published in China’s state-run Global Times on Saturday, calling for “revenge” after the decision by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop last week to join Japan and the US in calling for Beijing to respect international law.

“If Australia steps into the South China Sea waters, it will be an ideal target for China to warn and strike,” the paper thundered.

“Australia is not

Article source: http://www.smh.com.au/world/experts-wary-about-chinas-new-coziness-with-russia-in-the-south-china-sea-20160730-gqh99x.html

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