Russian Chinese joint military drills starting

United World International 08/06/2021

Russia and China are preparing for joint military exercises to take place in Northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region from August 9 to 13.  According to Senior Colonel Wu Qian, spokesperson for China’s Ministry of National Defense, the theme of this upcoming military exercise is jointly safeguarding regional security and stability, reported the Chinese Global Times.

The drill is named “The Zapad/Interaction-2021.” China and Russia will dispatch multiple types of aircraft, artillery pieces and armored equipment to test joint reconnaissance, early warnings, as well as electronic information attack and strike capabilities. “Interaction” means that the drill will include multiple services, including the army and the air forces. 

It will be a land-air integrated joint operation, and its main target will be forces that endanger regional security; namely the “three forces” – the forces of terrorism, extremism and separatism, argues the Chinese newspaper.

Joint drills come as “last U.S. troops leave Afghanistan”

The US news outlet Newsweek emphasizes that the exercise comes “as the last U.S. troops leave by the end of this month.” (Click Here)

Chinese experts confirmed to the Global Times that noting that “the US’ irresponsible troop withdrawal from Afghanistan has left a burden for neighboring countries. As major powers, China and Russia need to play their roles, jointly safeguard regional peace and stability, and prevent the development of terrorist forces in the region.”

The exercise was announced on July 29, following the Russian and Chinese Defense Minister’s the meeting in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Tajikistan that focused on the situation in Afghanistan.

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Upcoming joint drills of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in September

Newsweek reports that the Russian Armed Forces and People’s Liberation Army of China will also train alongside one another next month as part of the upcoming Peace Mission 2021 exercises under the auspices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. These drills will also have a counterterrorism focus, and will include fellow SCO members India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The upcoming joint military exercise is part of a larger trend. US expert Richard Weitz concludes in a report for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, published July 2021, that “Since the mid-2000s, China and Russia have conducted an increasingly frequent number and more diverse range of Sino-Russian bilateral and multilateral military exercises”.

“Washington has been creating more troubles around Beijing and Moscow. Its irresponsible withdrawal from Afghanistan has left a mess in the country. We also need to beware that Washington may drive a wedge in Central Asia, threatening China-Russia relations or even the cohesion and unity of the SCO. In response to the fact that Washington is causing more chaos worldwide, Beijing and Moscow should jointly make it clear to the US that it should not interfere in more regional affairs. Beijing and Moscow are important backbone forces for maintaining regional peace and stability.”

Chinese military expert Song Zhongping in the Global Times

“Chinese and Russian governments demonstrate capacity to project power throughout Eurasia”

“The Chinese and Russian governments understand that these high-profile military maneuvers, which demonstrate their capacity to project power throughout Eurasia, can attract Washington’s attention”, argues Weitz. (Click Here)

The joint Russian-Chinese military exercises include since the last years also naval drills. These drills achieve a greater weight in responding rising NATO and US-led maneuvers from the Black Sea to the South China Sea.

Currently, a British flag group accompanied by German and Indian ships is preparing for drills in the South China Sea, which are expected to fuel further tensions. (Click to Source)

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