Chinese regime officials announced on Aug. 17 that the country’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will take part in military exercises with Russian armed forces in Russia’s far east.
The exercises are being led by Russia and include India, Belarus, Mongolia, Tajikistan, and other countries, China’s defense ministry said in a statement.
It added that its participation in the exercises was part of an ongoing bilateral annual cooperation agreement with Russia.
“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,” the Chinese defense ministry said.
China’s participation in the joint exercises was “unrelated to the current international and regional situation,” the ministry added.
Russia’s defense ministry announced in July that it plans to hold “Vostok” (East) strategic military exercises from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5 despite its costly war with Ukraine raging on. At the time, Moscow said some foreign forces would participate but stopped short of naming them.
“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 Chinese defense ministry said on Wednesday.
According to a translation of the statement by Russian media, the Russian Ministry of Defense said the drills will involve 13 training grounds of the Eastern Military District: Bidzhanskiy, Burduny, Bukhta Anna, Goryachiye Klyuchi, Knyaze-Volkonsky, Litovko, Lagunnoye, Mukhor-Kondui, Novoselsky, Sergeyevsky, Telemba, Uspenovsky, and Tsugol.
They will also be attended by the troops of airborne forces, long-range and military transport aircraft, as well as foreign military.
Russia’s defense ministry also noted that its capacity to conduct such drills was unaffected by its invasion of neighboring Ukraine, or “special military operation” as President Vladimir Putin refers to it, and its military would still be supplied with all necessary personnel, weapons, and equipment.
“We draw your attention to the fact that only a part of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is involved in the special military operation [in Ukraine], the number of which is quite sufficient to fulfill all the tasks set by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief,” the Russian defense ministry statement said.
It also accused some foreign media outlets of spreading “false information” that Russia is allegedly carrying out some mobilization measures.
The last time such exercises took place was in 2018, when China took part for the first time, along with Mongolia.
The exercises come as Russia’s war with Ukraine rages on and tensions between China and Taiwan continue to flare; heightened further by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the self-ruled island earlier this month.
Relations between the United States and both Russia and China have deteriorated, and U.S. officials have accused the Chinese Communist Party of weighing up providing Russia with military support for its invasion of Ukraine.
China’s leader Xi Jinping announced a “no limits” partnership with Russia in February, during which Moscow said it “reaffirms its support” for Beijing’s view of Taiwan being its own territory that should be taken by force if necessary, and China backed Russia’s opposition to further NATO expansion.
China has also declined to sanction Russia or condemn its invasion of Ukraine.
Reuters contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times