I think it is too soon to declare which side the Chinese and Russians are actually on with regards to the potential US-North Korea showdown:
China and Russia have dispatched intelligence-gathering vessels from their navies to chase the USS Carl Vinson nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, which is heading toward waters near the Korean Peninsula, multiple sources of the Japanese government revealed to The Yomiuri Shimbun.
It appears that both countries aim to probe the movements of the United States, which is showing a stance of not excluding military action against North Korea. The Self-Defense Forces are strengthening warning and surveillance activities in the waters and airspace around the area, according to the sources.
The aircraft carrier strike group, composed of the Carl Vinson at its core with guided-missile destroyers and other vessels, is understood to be around the East China Sea and heading north toward waters near the Korean Peninsula.
So, Japan is activating more ships in the area, but this is not seen as a “warning signal” because the Japanese are known to be allied with the USA and even more concerned about the North Koreans. It seems to me that it is at least as likely that the Chinese and Russian intelligence ships are there to assist the strike group as serve as any kind of deterrent to it.
It’s important not to take ANY of the public announcements from any party too seriously. Remember, in war, the first casualty is truth. It’s not in anyone’s interests to inform the enemy exactly what it is that they are doing, or intending to do.
At this point, given all the global publicity being devoted to the Carl Vinson group, it would appear to be the most likely candidate for being a feint while the real attack comes from somewhere, or even someone, else.