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US intelligence warns Taiwan of growing China-Russia military cooperation

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During a congressional hearing on Thursday, US intelligence officials cautioned that China and Russia are stepping up their military cooperation, particularly on Taiwan.

“Bottom line is that basically, if we were to have a conflict with one, the chances are we would have a second front,” Lt Gen. Jeffrey Kruse, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said.

Since the two nations declared a “no limits” alliance just before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, relations between Moscow and Beijing have reached unprecedented heights. China has benefited from cheaper natural gas and oil from Russia, and increased bilateral commerce has helped support Russia’s economy, which is subject to severe sanctions.

China’s stance on Russia-Ukraine conflict?

China claims to remain impartial toward the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, but it filters social media posts that criticise Moscow’s war, which Beijing has neither denounced nor classified as an invasion.

“We see China and Russia, for the first time, exercising together in relation to Taiwan and recognizing that this is a place where China definitely wants Russia to be working with them, and we see no reason why they wouldn’t,” Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said on Thursday.

When asked if the Department of Defense was factoring in the increased cooperation between Beijing and Moscow when making plans, Kruse responded,  “From the Department of Defense perspective, that would certainly be the case, and it just has to be taken into account whether or not we actually believe there would be two full-up fronts. That is analysis and assessments that will mature over time.”

China’s claim on Taiwan

Although the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing has never held power in Taiwan, China nonetheless claims democratic Taiwan as its territory and promises to integrate it into China one day, even if it means using force.

Since 2022, China and Russia have carried out five military exercises, the most recent of which took place in the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan last year.

According to Ukraine, Chinese companiers are the source of drones and the majority of drone-related components used by invading Russian forces, but China denies the accusations. Washington has sanctioned many Chinese companies accused of engaging in similar actions.

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