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China to send troops to Russia for ‘Vostok’ exercise

Nato Turkey Debate On Purchase Of Advanced Russian S 400 Air Defence System
The S-400 Triumph anti-aircraft missile system during the Army 2017 International Military Technical Forum in Patriot Park outside Moscow, Russia, 22 August 2017 (reissued 14 June 2019). The S-400 system can simultaneously hit 36 targets within a radius of 400 kilometres and up to an altitude of 27 kilometres - for many states this means a significant expansion of their defence capabilities. In recent years, many countries have bought or intend to buy the Russian S-400 air defence system, including China, Saudi Arabia, India and Qatar. The most prominent and sensitive case for NATO is Turkey. Turkey intends to purchase the advanced Russian S-400 air defence system, the first missiles and their associated radars could start to be delivered in July 2019. EPA-EFE/YURI KOCHETKOV

Chinese troops will travel to Russia to take part in joint military exercises led by the host and including India, Belarus, Mongolia, Tajikistan and other countries, China’s defence ministry said on Wednesday.

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

Last month, Moscow announced plans to hold “Vostok” (East) exercises from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5, even as it wages a costly war in Ukraine. It said at the time that some foreign forces would participate, without naming them.

China’s defence ministry said its participation in the exercises was part of an ongoing bilateral annual 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 statement said.

Under Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Beijing and Moscow have grown 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 Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu praised the Sibu/Cooperation-2021 drills in China’s Ningxia and suggested they could be developed further. 

In October, Russia and China held joint naval drills in the Sea of Japan. Days later, Russian and Chinese warships held their first joint patrols in the western Pacific. 

The next month, South Korea’s military said it had scrambled fighter jets after two Chinese and seven Russian warplanes intruded into its air defence identification zone during what Beijing called regular training.

Shortly before Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, Beijing and Moscow announced a “no limits” partnership, although U.S. officials say they have not seen China evade U.S.-led sanctions on Russia or provide it with military equipment.

Russia’s eastern military district includes part of Siberia and has its headquarters in Khabarovsk, near the Chinese border.

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