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China to send troops to Russia for ‘Vostok’ exercise

Chinese team members operate with their Type 96A tank during the tank biathlon competition at the 2022 International Army Games in Alabino, outside Moscow, Russia August 16, 2022. REUTERS/ Maxim Shemetov

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BEIJING, Aug 17 (Reuters) – Chinese troops will travel to Russia to take part in joint military exercises led by the host country and including India, Belarus, Mongolia, Tajikistan and other countries, it said on Wednesday. the Chinese Ministry of Defense.

China’s participation in the joint drills was “unrelated to the current international and regional situation”, the ministry said in a statement.

Last month, Moscow announced plans to hold “Vostok” (Eastern) drills from August 30 to September 5, even as it wages a costly war in Ukraine. He said at the time that some foreign forces would participate, without naming them. Read more

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China’s Defense Ministry said its participation in the drills is part of an ongoing annual bilateral cooperation agreement with Russia.

“The aim is to deepen practical and friendly cooperation with the armies of the participating countries, improve the level of strategic collaboration between the participating parties and strengthen the ability to respond to various security threats,” the statement said. .

Under Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Beijing and Moscow have become increasingly close.

A year ago this month, Russia and China held joint military exercises in north-central China involving more than 10,000 troops. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu hailed the Sibu/Cooperation-2021 drills in Chinese Ningxia and suggested they could be further developed. Read more

In October, Russia and China held joint naval exercises in the Sea of ​​Japan. A few days later, Russian and Chinese warships staged their first joint patrols in the Western Pacific. Read more

The following month, South Korea’s military said it had dispatched fighter jets after two Chinese and seven Russian fighter jets entered its air defense identification zone during what Beijing called regular training.

Shortly before Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine, Beijing and Moscow announced a ‘limitless’ partnership, although US officials say they have not seen China evade US sanctions against Russia or supply it with military equipment.

The Eastern Military District of Russia includes part of Siberia and has its headquarters in Khabarovsk, near the Chinese border.

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Reporting by Yew Lun Tian and Tony Munroe; Editing by Bernadette Baum, Alex Richardson and Toby Chopra

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Rodney N.

The author Rodney N.