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Russia begins massive war games with China and other allies

The 2022 Vostok exercise will last until September 7, which shows the strengthening of defense relations and cooperation between Russia and China.

Russia has launched a week-long military exercise with troops from China and other countries, in a maneuver showing the growing defense cooperation between Moscow and Beijing as both face tensions with the United States.

The large-scale exercises also appear to be aimed at demonstrating that Russia has enough military power to conduct massive exercises even when its forces are engaged in Ukraine.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that the Vostok 2022 (East 2022) exercise will be held until September 7 at seven firing ranges in the Far East of Russia and the Sea of ​​Japan, and that it includes more than 50,000 soldiers and 5,000 weapons units, including 140 aircraft and 60 warships. .

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The Russian Chief of General Staff, General Valery Gerasimov, will personally supervise the exercises, which will involve forces from several former Soviet countries, China, India, Laos, Mongolia, Nicaragua and Syria.

Participants attend the opening ceremony of the Vostok 2022 military exercises at the firing range in the extreme eastern Primorsky region, Russia, August 31, 2022. Russian Ministry of Defense / Handout via Reuters Attention Editors - This photo is provided by a third party.  There are no reviews.  not archive.  compulsory credit
Participants attend the opening ceremony of Vostok 22 [File: Russian defence ministry via Reuters]

The Defense Ministry noted that the Russian and Chinese navies “will exercise joint action to protect maritime communications, areas of maritime economic activity, and support land forces in coastal areas” in the Sea of ​​Japan.

Growing cooperation with China

Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping developed strong personal relationships to strengthen the “strategic partnership” between the two former communist foes because both are engaged in competition with the United States.

China has refused to criticize Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, saying the United States is the “main instigator” of the conflict by supporting NATO expansion and imposing sanctions on Moscow.

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In contrast, Russia has strongly supported China amid tensions with the United States over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has compared US support for Ukraine and Taiwan, saying both are part of alleged US efforts to foment global instability.

Chinese soldiers take part in the opening ceremony of the Vostok 2022 military exercises at a firing range in Russia's Far East Primorsky region, August 31, 2022. Russian Ministry of Defense / Handout via Reuters Attention Editors - This image was provided by a third party.  There are no reviews.  not archive.  compulsory credit
Chinese soldiers participate in the opening ceremony [File: Russian defence ministry via Reuters]

Political analyst Alexander Gaboyev noted: “It is very important for Beijing to show the United States that it has tools to put pressure on America and its global interests.

“Joint exercises with Moscow, including naval exercises, are aimed at signaling that if pressure continues on Beijing, it will have no other choice but to strengthen its military partnership with Russia,” Gaboyev said. “It will have a direct impact on the interests of the United States and its allies, including Japan.”

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He told The Associated Press that the Kremlin, for its part, wants to show the country’s military is strong enough to project power elsewhere despite the crushing crackdown in Ukraine.

Gaboyev said: “The Russian leadership shows that everything is going according to plan and that the country and its army have the necessary resources to conduct exercises in addition to the special military operation.”

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Colonel Colonel, spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Defense said that China’s participation in the exercises aims to deepen practical and friendly cooperation between the armies of the participating countries, enhance the level of strategic cooperation between all participating parties, and enhance the ability to jointly respond to various security threats. Tan Kefei said last week.

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The exercises continue a series of joint war games between Russia and China in recent years, including naval exercises and long-range bomber patrols over the Sea of ​​Japan and the East China Sea. Last year, Russian troops deployed to Chinese territory to conduct joint exercises for the first time.

Although Moscow and Beijing have in the past rejected the possibility of forming a military alliance, Putin said such a possibility could not be ruled out. He also noted that Russia shares highly sensitive military technologies with China, which has helped greatly in enhancing its defense capability.

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