As part of growing ties between Beijing and Moscow, China has welcomed Russian troops to hold joint strategic exercises on Chinese soil next week
Lieutenant General Liu Xiaou of the People’s Liberation Army of China noted that in the context of big changes and the pandemic, this is the first joint strategic exercise involving Russian troops in China.
The exercise will involve about 10,000 personnel and various types of aircraft, weapons, equipment and vehicles from both countries, whose forces “will establish a joint command, make plans and conduct training in mixed battle groups to improve the joint counterterrorism capabilities of the troops.”
For his part, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Colonel General Alexander Fomin said that Russian-Chinese military cooperation is characterized by high dynamics of development, consistent expansion of areas of interaction and high intensity of contacts.
He also “drew attention to the fact that the two countries regularly conduct joint military exercises and that China is one of the most active participants of the Army International Games.
These annual games are also scheduled to begin later this month, from Aug. 22 to Sept. 4, and will provide another opportunity for Chinese and Russian troops to interact.
The heightened level of military defense cooperation between Beijing and Moscow was also discussed Saturday by People’s Liberation Army Maj. Gen. Kui Yanwei, who is China’s defense attaché at the country’s embassy in Russia. In a Red Star article, Kui praised the direction of Sino-Russian relations under the leadership of Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin.
“Under their leadership, the comprehensive Sino-Russian partnership and strategic interaction in the new era have withstood the test of pandemic and unprecedented changes in a century, reaching the highest level in their history in all fields”, – Kui wrote.
Also, he said, the China-Russia tandem has become an unshakable guarantee of world justice and a progressive force for world development and prosperity, firmly protecting world security and stability.
“Russian-Chinese relations, while not a military-political alliance like those formed during the Cold War, go beyond this form of interstate interaction,” the statement said, “they are not opportunistic, free of ideologization, require comprehensive consideration. partnership interests and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, they are self-sufficient and not directed against third countries, they reflect a new type of international relations.
The United States views China and Russia as its two main rival great powers and feuds with both countries on a wide range of geopolitical issues, including human rights, territorial disputes and cybersecurity, all of which Washington accuses Beijing and Moscow of regularly abusing.
President Joe Biden intended a relationship with China with elements of “cooperation,” “competition,” and “confrontation,” while he sought a “predictable and stable relationship” with Russia.