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China’s Defense Ministry announced on Wednesday that its People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will participate in military exercises with Russian armed forces in the Russian Far East.
“According to the annual plan of cooperation between the armed forces of the two countries and the agreements of the parties, the PLA will soon allocate and send part of the forces to Russia to participate in the Vostok-2022 exercises,” said the Chinese Ministry of Defense. . said in a statement.
The Vostok exercises are an opportunity for China and Russia to cooperate militarily in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and possible Chinese action against Taiwan.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the drills will involve “13 training grounds of the Eastern Military District, which will also be attended by troops from the airborne forces, long-range transport and military aviation, as well as foreign military personnel.”
China has been a reliable buyer of Russian military equipment since the 1990s, with sales to China accounting for 25-50% of Russian military sales abroad. Relations between the two countries have been strained at times as Russia has in the past accused the Chinese of stealing intellectual property, but even with these disputes the sides have grown closer and joint military exercises have continued.
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Strategic intelligence expert Rebekah Koffler told Fox News Digital: “Although this military exercise is part of the annual Russia-China bilateral training cycle, the fact that Putin has decided to stick to the schedule even as his forces are in the midst of active conflict in Ukraine is remarkable.”
“Relations between Russia and China, under the leadership of their authoritarian colleagues Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, have grown ever closer since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” said Koffler, a former military officer. of DIA intelligence, to Fox News Digital.
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“Russia and China see the United States as their main adversary and are poised to challenge US power projection in the East as US-China tensions over Taiwan escalate,” he said. she stated.
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The latest Vostok military exercises took place in 2018 and were joined by Mongolia and China, marking the first participation from countries outside the former Soviet bloc. Nearly 300,000 troops participated in addition to 36,000 vehicles, 1,000 aircraft and 80 warships, the largest since the days of the Soviet Union.
The exercises are scheduled to take place between August 30 and September 5. The other participating countries are India, Belarus and Tajikistan.
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Post expires at 12:11pm on Saturday August 27th, 2022