China Russia War Games ...
Oh, what lovely little Orwellian label for a war game; Peace Mission 2005.
Over 100, 000 troops from their armies, plus plenty more military pals from the navy and airforce too. Not to mention the awesome, assortment of armaments and hardware involved.
What a jolly, nice thing to do -- send them all sailing on a peace mission, instead of off to war somewhere.
Eh? Ya think?
Well, first off here's the headline and secondly, what's being said by some.
Russia, China in first joint war games.
The exercise signifies closer ties between the two former foes.
China and Russia have began their first joint military exercises boosting cooperation between them and sending a message to the United States about their growing influence.
Eight days of war games between the giant neighbours ......
Hmmm. Very interesting.
As is this.
Russia and China also see common ground in Central Asia, both in trying to ensure political turmoil in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan does not spill into their borders, and in checking the US presence in the region.But fear not, friends - apparently none of it's meant to be taken too seriously. See?
The two countries say they seek to boost cooperation"Military cooperation is linked with political and economic cooperation as part of a bigger package," said Robert Karniol, Asia-Pacific editor for Jane's Defence Weekly.
"It's not an adversarial posture."
Oooh, I see, so that's alright then.
Or is it?
"The main target is the United States. Both sides want to improve their position for bargaining in terms of security, politics and economics," said Jin Canrong, a professor of international relations at the People's University of China.Don't you hate such hopelessly mixed messages from the media? I mean, what the heck is one actually meant think? Are they with us -- or what?
'Real Politik' is a pretty powerful game. And, it's a damned dangerous game.
Incidentally, here's where it's all at.
The exercises are taking place in the Russian Pacific near Vladivostok and in the Chinese coastal province of Shandong and run through 25 August.
And here's where the US State Department's at.
"We would hope that anything that they do is not something that would be disruptive to the current atmosphere in the region," US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.
All rather confusing don't you think? Or is it?
Is it a genuine case of nothing see here, folks? So should we all just move along now?
For what it's worth, This Old Brit's take is that this is a truly tough one to call.
At a time like this, about the only thing that does seem certain is that for at least once in his life, George W. Bush was speaking the truth when he claimed he was a uniter, not a divider.
Here's what you might call a 'slap bang, smack in the middle of the road' report, on these particularly perplexing proceedings. It doesn't come the far right [nor from the far West] -- nor does it come from the far left [nor from the far East]. And maybe more to the point - nor does it come from Fox or any Rupert Murdoch rag.
Hit the link then suck it and see -- as the local's like to say, where I live.