VLADIMIR Putin has hinted about a future military alliance between Russia and China that would be more powerful than the US.
The two powers combined would outnumber the US Army some two to one, have three times as many tanks and warships, and have more nuclear weapons.
Missile launchers rumble through in Moscow during a military paradeCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Vladimir Putin hinted of a new alliance between Russia and ChinaCredit: AP:Associated Press
China and Russia have the world’s second and third most powerful militaries – and a formal alliance could help tip the scales against the US.
Putin signaled deepening ties between Moscow and Beijing as both have ongoing tensions with Washington.
Russia continues to try and thrash out a new arms treaty, while facing ongoing allegations of election interference in the US along with military tensions in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
China meanwhile has seen relations with the US plunge to new lows due to the coronavirus pandemic and rows over the South China Sea and Taiwan.
Vlad was quizzed on whether he could envision a military alliance between Moscow and Beijing during a conference call on Thursday.
He replied: “‘We don’t need it, but, theoretically, it’s quite possible to imagine it.”
Russia and China have hailed their “strategic partnership”, but have so far stopped short of creating a formal military alliance.
It would be worrying for the rest of the world as well, especially if Donald Trump wins the US election on November 3.
Trump has long insisted on an “America First” policy, and wants the US to have less involvement in foreign conflicts while also showing scepticism over alliances such as Nato.
Russia and China would outnumber the US – and every other military in the world – but also have advantages in several key areas.
However, even combined the two massive nations lag behind the US in military spending – with a duel total of $302billion, compared to America’s mammoth $430billion.
China has the largest number of active soldiers in the worldCredit: AFP or licensors
Russia and China combined would have 3.2million troopsCredit: Alamy Live News
Russia and China would outnumber the US two-to-one in terms of active military personnel, comparing 3.2million to 1.4million.
They would also have a vastly larger fleet of tanks – with 16,450 total – and warships, with a total of 1,380.
And with Russia already having the largest nuclear stockpile in the world, combining with China’s nukes pushes them in further ahead.
The US however would maintain advantages in some areas, such as having many more warplanes – with 13,264 compared to 7,373.
Aircraft carriers are also one of the most important ways of projecting power worldwide – and the US have 11 with two more under construction.
China has two with one under construction, and Russia has just one extremely old vessel – with the infamous, smoke belching Admiral Kuznetsov.
The US has as many aircraft carriers as the rest of the world combined, and the weapons are essential to asserting global dominance since World War 2.
Russia and China would have three times as many warshipsCredit: Alamy Live News
And an alliance would give them three times as many tanksCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Putin said recent war games Russia and China have carried out highlight how well the two country’s cooperate.
He also hinted that Russia has shared military technology with China, but declined to go into any specifics.
“Without any doubt, our cooperation with China is bolstering the defense capability of China’s army.” Putin said.
“Time will show how it will develop. We won’t exclude it.”
Putin has been key in pushing Russia to develop new weapons, including modernising its nuclear weapons.
He has repeatedly pushed for his country to be on the forefront of development of technologies such as hypersonic missiles, seen as a new frontier in weapons tech.
Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping have been deepening ties amid tensions with the USCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Putin however did say he continues to be eager to signing a new weapons treaty, with the New Start agreement set to expire in February.
The deal was signed in 2010 with US President Barack Obama, and the pact act limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bomber.
Trump has however said they would only renew the agreement if China also joins, but Beijing has refused.
US officials are now trying to push through a new agreement – with the Trump administration keen to do so before the election – with a one-year extension.
13:48, 23 Oct 2020Updated: 14:14, 23 Oct 2020