According to a statement issued by China’s Ministry of Defense, three of the United States’ top international adversaries have joined forces to conduct military exercises in the Middle East.
In a series of exercises dubbed “Security Bond-2023,” China, Russia, and Iran are preparing to coordinate their offensive postures off the Middle Eastern coast. The four-day initiative, which runs through March 19, will showcase the naval capabilities of all three countries working together against a common enemy.
The Chinese Defense Ministry stated in its announcement that the exercises would “help deepen practical cooperation between the participating countries’ navies… and inject positive energy into regional peace and stability.”
Officials at the White House are monitoring the situation but have expressed no concerns that the effort by all three countries is intended to escalate or inflame conflicts between the United States and its three frequent adversaries in global affairs.
John Kirby, a spokesperson for the United States National Security Council, sought to allay concerns Wednesday morning:
“We’re going to watch it, we’ll monitor it, obviously, to make sure that there’s no threat resulting from this training exercise to our national security interests or those of our allies and partners in the region,” Kirby said on CNN. “But nations train. We do it all the time. We’ll watch it as best we can.”
Tensions have risen in recent years between the West and all three Eastern nations as a result of provocative postures taken over Covid-19, human rights violations, and the Ukraine war.
Chinese officials continue to thwart international efforts to investigate the possibility that Covid-19 was leaked at the Wuhan research lab. The United States continues to sanction Iran and its top officials for using live ammunition to suppress domestic peaceful protests.
Russia, which recently marked a year since its invasion of Ukraine, is still subjected to a barrage of international sanctions and economic pressure led by the United States, an effort that has so far received bipartisan support in Washington.