South Africa is to host the upcoming joint naval military exercise with Russia and China from February 17-27. This will be the second naval drill the three BRICS members have held.
The first exercise took place in November 2019. Common interests of Russia, China, and South Africa are not limited to only economy.
Akram Kharief, founder and host of Algerian military information website Menadefense, said in an interview with Sputnik, that the future exercises of the Russian, Chinese, and South African navies are necessary to tackle global security.
So we have three countries which cover three oceans and which see their zones of influence and their zones of military activity developing exponentially.
It’s also interesting to see that once again we find the same players from BRICS – South Africa, Russia, and China. We see a convergence of points of view and a convergence of interests that goes beyond the economic aspect.
The current situation shows that South Africa is holding firm in terms of its proximity, its geopolitical neutrality and its desire to join a multi-polar world which would be in its interest.
South Africa has been experiencing the uni-polar world for the past 30 years and it has looked at the fact that it is on the fringes of that world and that eventually Pretoria would have experienced economic regression over time.
South Africa joined BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) in 2010, after which the international bloc was renamed BRICS.
While Russia and China have annually held military naval exercises since 2012, their BRICS ally, South Africa joined their initiative and hosted their first trilateral naval drills in 2019 called Mosi, which means smoke in Tswana, one of the 11 official South African languages.
Three years later, the three countries are preparing for the upcoming second trilateral military naval drills Mosi II. South African Ambassador to Moscow Mzuvukile Maqetuka expressed hope that the exercises will become annual.
This statement was made amid western criticism over South Africa’s cooperation with Russia. Earlier, during his visit to South Africa in late January, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also commented on the western criticism of the trilateral exercises.
As for all naval exercises, there is nothing even to comment on. Three sovereign countries conduct exercises without violating any norms of international law.
It is difficult to understand how they can cause a mixed reaction. US authorities believe that only they can conduct exercises around the world.
Now they are actively engaged in naval exercises within the framework of the Indo-Pacific strategies around China, in the South China Sea, in the Taiwan Strait, and this does not cause any mixed reaction from anyone.
The South African Department of Foreign Affairs, in turn, said in January that the country, like any independent and sovereign state, has a right to conduct its foreign relations in line with its diplomatic relations and national interests.
South Africa sees Exercise Mosi II as an opportunity to combat Apartheid and contribute towards further strengthening the strong bonds that exist between South Africa, Russia and China.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point Military News 2023.