Russia, China Flex Military Might Together

Cheryl Sanders
September 14, 2018

The country's war games in Eastern Europe a year ago, Zapad-2017, saw 12,700 troops take part according to Moscow.

Vostok 2018 is the largest overseas joint military exercise involving Chinese troops since 2012.

Around 300,000 troops and tens of thousands of vehicles, aircraft, and warships are participating along with units from China.

The war games are held a year after Russian Federation staged major drills in the country's west last September, unnerving neighbouring former Soviet republics.

At a news conference after their talks, Xi also touted the relationship between Russian Federation and China, which has a far larger population and an economy several times the size of Russia's.

Russian Federation on Tuesday launched its largest military exercise at the Tsugol training range in Russia's Trans-Baikal region in eastern Siberia.

The United States is pressing its European allies to get more North Atlantic Treaty Organisation battalions, ships and planes ready for combat, officials say, in a fresh move to shore up NATO's deterrence against any Russian attack.

China's participation will enhance its counterattack abilities and reinforce ties with Russia, Chinese government officials said Tuesday.

Meanwhile Russia's foreign ministry has sought to downplay the significance of the sheer volume of forces deployed for Vostok-2018 as well as Chinese cooperation.

As the manoeuvres began on Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Russian Federation to attend an economic forum in Vladivostok. In addition to this, Putin and Xi seem to be getting along well, with the Chinese premier calling the Russian president his "best, most intimate friend".

China, for its part, may want to see the latest in military technology and advanced jet engines which Russian Federation possessed, Watling said.

The Turkish Army today announced its participation as an observer in the military maneuvers being carried out by Russian Federation and China in Siberia, after being officially invited by Moscow.

The military exercises come at a time of escalating tensions between Moscow and the West over accusations of Russian interference in western affairs and ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.

That large-scale exercise, called the Zapad drills, involved nearly 13,000 troops.

Putin, who is armed forces commander-in-chief, is expected to observe the exercises this week alongside Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, who is overseeing them.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov last month said Russia's "ability to defend itself in the current global situation is justified, essential and without alternative".

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