Over 3,000 Chinese soldiers sent to biggest military exercise in Russia since Cold War


China is to send more than 3,000 soldiers, 900 pieces of military equipment, 30 planes and a number of helicopters to take part in Russia’s Vostok-2018 (or East-2018), its largest military exercise since 1981, as Weida Li reports in JBTimes. Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu announced on Tuesday that the drill will take place between September 11 and 15. It is set to involve nearly 300,000 Russian troops, 1,000 aircraft and 900 tanks.


Over 3000 Chinese soldiers sent to biggest military exercise in Russia since Cold War
A total of 28 Chinese subdivisions will travel to the Russian cities of Zabaikalsk and Chita via China’s Manchuria by train, before being transferred to the drill base (Picture source: www.81.cn)


According to Wu Qian, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of National Defence (MND), a total of 28 Chinese subdivisions will travel to the Russian cities of Zabaikalsk and Chita via China’s Manchuria by train, before being transferred to the drill base. The two contingents will establish joint command headquarters in order to test the defense and counterattack abilities of their respective military units during a series of regular exercises. Mongolian army units have also been invited to participate.

Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu also told news agency TASS that "it is going to be the largest one since Zapad-81,” referring to a Soviet military exercise in 1981 that incorporated between 100,000 and 150,000 troops. “It will be unprecedented in terms of geographic scope and the strength of command and control centers and forces due to participate," Shoigu said.

The participation of China reflects the consolidation of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership, as this kind of military exercise used to be restricted to Russia and countries that were either once part of the Soviet Union or Soviet allies, according to Chinese news outlet Huanqiu.


 

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