Ankur Chatterjee: Beijing’s defence ministry on Wednesday said that Chinese troops will travel to Russia in order to take part in joint military drills.
China aims to push bilateral relations with Russia “to a higher level” and deepen their defence links amidst the series of international sanctions and widespread condemnations Russia is facing over its war in Ukraine.
China’s defence ministry said Wednesday that the country’s participation in the annual “Vostok” exercises, that’s going to be held from August 30 to September 5, is part of a bilateral 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,” in a statement the Chinese defence ministry said.
The statement also noted that India, Belarus, Mongolia, Tajikistan, and other countries too will participate in the exercise.
The West (the USA and Europe) has been accusing China and India for a long time of providing diplomatic cover for Russia throughout its month-long war in Ukraine by objecting sanctions by Western countries and sale of arms to Kyiv.
Though Beijing reiterated that its involvement in the joint exercises bears no links to the current international and regional circumstances.
The annual “Vostok” exercise counts as the second joint military exercise this year conducted by Russian and Chinese troops.
In May, bombers from both countries conducted a 13-hour drill near Japan and South Korea, forcing those countries to scramble jet fighters while US President Joe Biden was in Tokyo.
While warming ties between China and Russia negatively affected global security, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Washington didn’t “read anything” into the drills.
“Most of the participating countries also routinely participate in a wide array of military exercises and exchanges with the United States as well,” Ned Price said in a press conference.
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