Chinese soldiers will participate in Russian military exercises as US tensions rise

China: The People's Liberation Army (PLA) will send troops to participate in military exercises led by Russia amid rising tensions with the US.

The strategic exercise Vostok-2022, which will run from August 30 to September 5, will take place at a critical time. The United States and its allies have been criticizing both countries for their military actions, particularly Beijing's extensive drills close to Taiwan and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

According to China's defense ministry, the PLA's participation in the Vostok exercise, which it completed four years ago, was "unrelated to the current international and regional situation" and was aimed at improving strategic coordination and responding to various types of security. I had to increase my capacity. Threat.

According to Yang Jin, a Russian affairs expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the exercise was "a show of [military] strength" and showed a "high degree of bilateral relations", and had nothing to do with the conflict. The situation in Ukraine or Taiwan.

In response to long-term security threats to the region such as terrorism and separatism, the exercise has been conducted. Therefore, the goal of this cooperation is to address regional security threats and destabilizing situations rather than specific situations, according to Yang.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, during the exercise, the participating forces will practice their military security procedures.

It will be the second significant exercise that both Russia and China have participated in this year as a sign of their alliance, which Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin declared in February "had no boundaries."

China and Russia sent bombers to Northeast Asian waters in May as part of their first joint military exercise since Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

While in the area for the exercise in May, US President Joe Biden angrily declared that the US would militarily defend Taiwan if the island was invaded by mainland China. This enraged Beijing.

Later, the Pentagon and the White House retracted what Biden had said, claiming that US policy towards Taiwan had not changed. Last year, more than 10,000 Russian soldiers were invited to participate in a tactical exercise in northwest China.

For the first time in China, a foreign army took part in a PLA tactical exercise.

According to the official Xinhua news agency, the 2018 Vostok exercise was attended by about 300,000 troops, including 3,200 from China, the largest contingent ever sent abroad.

Yang predicted that the size of the upcoming exercises would be reduced as a result of the conflict in Ukraine.

Along with other countries, Tajikistan, India, Belarus and Mongolia will send troops for the exercise. According to Yang, India's participation demonstrated the importance of major powers working together in the Indo-Pacific.

Yang noted that Xi was in Vladivostok in eastern Russia for an economic forum during the 2018 exercise, and suggested that Xi could send a greeting message to the military exercise via video link or some other method.

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