Chinese troops will travel to Russia for major joint drills
Chinese troops will travel to Russia for major joint military exercises amid heightened tensions with the United States over Taiwan and Ukraine.
In a statement released on Wednesday, China’s Defense Ministry said its participation in the drills was part of a cooperation agreement with Russia. "The aim is to deepen practical and friendly cooperation with the armies of participating countries, enhance the level of strategic collaboration among the participating parties, and strengthen the ability to respond to various security threats."
The ministry said the drills and China’s participation in them were "unrelated to the current international and regional situation."
Under President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Beijing and Moscow have increasingly grown in relations.
Troops from India, Belarus, Mongolia, and Tajikistan will also travel to Russia to take part in the military maneuvers, which will simulate the repulsion of an invading force.
Last month, Moscow announced plans to hold ‘Vostok’ (East) exercises from August 30 to September 5. It said at the time some foreign forces would participate in the drills. Its last such exercises took place in 2018, when China took part for the first time.
Beijing and Moscow have announced a ‘no-limit’ partnership to counter Western dominance.
Putin hits out at US over Ukraine, Chinese Taipei
Addressing a security conference attended by military officials from Africa, Asia and Latin America, President Putin accused the United States of trying to encourage extended hostilities in Ukraine.
“They need conflicts to retain their hegemony,” Putin said. “That’s why they have turned the Ukrainian people into cannon fodder. The situation in Ukraine shows that the United States is trying to drag the conflict out, and it acts in exactly the same way trying to fuel conflicts in Asia, Africa and Latin America.”
Elsewhere in remarks, Putin drew parallels between Washington backing Ukraine and a recent visit to self-governing Chinese Taipei by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He said both were part of an alleged American attempt to foment global instability.
“The American adventure in Taiwan wasn't just a trip by an irresponsible politician. It was part of a deliberate and conscious US strategy intended to destabilize the situation and create chaos in the region and the entire world, a blatant demonstration of disrespect for another country's sovereignty and its own international obligations.”
China’s defense minister recently said the country was fully prepared to fight its enemies amid attempts by the United States to undermine its sovereignty and security in the region. Wei Fenghe issued the warning via video link at an international security forum in the Russian capital on Tuesday, describing Pelosi’s visit to the self-ruled island last month as a “gross violation of China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
“There is absolutely no good end to ‘Taiwan independence’ and interference by external forces will never succeed,” Wei said. Beijing “cannot be tamed. We are not afraid of the forces of evil, as well as any enemies. We are determined and ready to fight with any enemy.” The defense minister reiterated that Taipei was an integral part of China and Beijing considered all related issues as internal political matters in which no other country had the right to interfere.