Global SITREP for Friday, 26 January 2024 – Forward Observer

Global SITREP for Friday, 26 January 2024

Good morning, and welcome to the Global Situation Report for Friday, 26 January 2024. 

  1. CHINA VIEWS NATO’S EUROPEAN EXERCISES AS A THREAT: China is urging NATO to “stop making up lies and stop any dangerous move that may disrupt the Asia Pacific, and take an objective and rational view of the growth of China and the Chinese military,” in response to NATO’s Steadfast Defender 2024 exercise in Europe, according to a press release from the Chinese Ministry of National Defense.

Why It Matters: China views NATO’s actions in Europe as a threat to stability in the Asian Pacific despite the bloc explicitly stating that it is only to respond to threats in the Atlantic. China is likely concerned about the long-rumored “global NATO” and using that concern to voice solidarity with their ally, Russia, the main antagonist in the Steadfast Defender exercise. This concern can lead to even chillier relations between China and the West as they view larger and more frequent actions to be partially directed at them. – J.V.

  1. CHINA ATTEMPTS TO PUT AWAY INDIA BORDER DISPUTE: Chinese Ministry of National Defense Spokesman Senior Colonel Wu Qian said, “The boundary dispute is a legacy issue between China and India, but it does not represent the whole picture of bilateral relations,” in a press conference yesterday.
  • “We hope the Indian side can work with the Chinese side towards the same goal, enhance strategic mutual trust, properly handle differences, and safeguard peace and tranquility in the border areas,” Wu added at the end of the speech.
  • Indian defense media talks daily about a potential war with China.

Why It Matters: China is trying to clear up one potential theater of conflict while it prepares for a potential war with Taiwan. India’s involvement in a fight for Taiwan or merely reigniting conflict in the disputed territory while a fight over Taiwan is ongoing would likely break China’s warfighting capabilities. A revived relationship between the two regional powers could also fix the division in BRICS, helping to clear a path for the fabled “BRICS currency.” – J.V.

  1. RUSSIA DEVELOPING EXTENDED RANGE ONYX MISSILE, BAD NEWS FOR CHINA: The Russian Tactical Missiles Corporation is working to “considerably increase the range” of the Onyx anti-ship missile.
  • The Onyx resulted from a joint Russo-Indian all-platform, anti-ship missile project that produced the BrahMos. The missile fuselages are identical, but the Onyx has a longer range and a different paint scheme.
  • India is working on an extended-range BrahMos missile as well.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin took time yesterday to commend Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on another Republic Day celebration and tout their “privileged strategic partnership” that will “continue to systematically boost the constructive cooperation between Russia and India across the board.”

Why It Matters: The Onyx and BrahMos missile families are exceptionally capable and have impressive ranges already. The extended-range project is likely an unofficial joint venture. India is in contract to deliver BrahMos missiles to the Philippines and Vietnam, both of whom may be involved in a South China Sea conflict against China. Additionally, India has a long-standing border dispute with China and touts preparations for war with them in their defense media daily. Russia’s research could very well lead to a maritime defeat for China in the Indian and Pacific Oceans if India uses and exports it. – J.V.

THAT’S A WRAP: This does it for today’s edition. Thank you for reading. If you know folks who would also like to receive this email, would you please forward it to them? We appreciate you spreading the word. – M.S.

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