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Russia, China Conducting Joint Exercises In Relation to Taiwan, DNI Says

'Beijing will continue to use its military forces to intimidate'

Russia, China Conducting Joint Exercises In Relation to Taiwan, DNI Says

The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) says that closer ties between Russia and China have been forged, including potentially drafting and rehearsing plans for an invasion of Taiwan.

During testimony delivered to the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 2, Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence, said, “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.”

In a follow-up question directed toward Lieutenant General Jeffrey Kruse, Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), asked if American military forces have factored the increased cooperation between China and Russia into its ongoing planning.

Kruse said that what military officials have seen over the past two years has caused them to reevaluate their analysis and become more concerned about future requirements in an environment where Russia and China were strategic partners in the region.

“Even if Russia and China and a military ... are not interoperable, they would certainly be cooperative and we would need to take that into account for structure and planning,” he said.

Among the top concerns for U.S. officials is the “no limits” relationship between China and Russia, which was announced in 2022 and has since resulted in significant growth in bilateral trade and military cooperation.

When asked about plans being updated based on the continuation of the “no limits” agreement, Kruse confirmed that the Pentagon is currently undergoing “a fairly intensive vetting of what kind of operations we might want to conduct.”

Haines told the committee that China will continue to leverage events to achieve certain geopolitical outcomes to its advantage.

“Given its ambition, Beijing will continue to use its military forces to intimidate its neighbors and to shape the region’s actions in accordance with [its] priorities, most obviously in relation to Taiwan, as [China] presses for unification,” she stated.

Haines added that U.S. officials expect China to deploy new technologies, become more competent in joint operations, and bolster their nuclear forces and cyber capabilities, along with seeking to drive a wedge between the U.S. and its European allies.

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