China to Send Troops to Russia for ‘Vostok’ Exercise
China is sending troops to Russia for a strategic command and staff exercise. The exercise will take place between August 30 and September 5 in Russia’s Eastern Military District. It will test the joint military forces’ ability to cope with a variety of security threats.
The military exercise will involve 14 Russian ships assigned to the Pacific Fleet. It is part of a rotating cycle of quadrennial Russian exercises, which will evaluate the battle readiness of Russia’s four military districts. China and Russia have been in a dispute over the future of the Korean Peninsula, but the two nations are not at war with each other.
The two countries have strengthened their strategic cooperation in military technology, space issues, and energy projects. In addition, both countries are considering increasing cooperation in the manufacturing industry and transport. However, the readout does not provide details on these cooperation initiatives.
The Chinese delegation will be joining the Russian army’s ‘Vostok’ military exercise. It will be the largest exercise in history. China will send a large contingent of troops to Russia to train Russian troops and conduct joint exercises with them.
President Xi Jinping said that China is considering sending its troops to Russia for a strategic military exercise. Its spokesperson Zhao Lijian, meanwhile, argues that China has no plans to use such exercises, and the Russians have no need for them. However, the US should remain vigilant and avoid disinformation and manipulation.
China has recently increased its exports to Russia, mainly in the defense industry. In the first five months of 2022, its exports of military-related products to Russia grew by nearly fivefold. The United States has recently imposed sanctions on Chinese firms that support Russia’s defense industrial base.
Chinese officials are also interested in increasing trade with Russian entities. For example, Shandong provincial officials hosted a conference on March 29 where a number of electrical and mechanical manufacturers attended. Also, the Chongqing branch of the China Chamber of International Commerce teamed up with the state-owned Bank of Kunlun to promote exports to Russia.
As a result of the recent Russian shelling, electricity to Europe’s largest nuclear plant has been cut. The attack on the plant triggered fires in the ash pits of a coal power station near the plant, which disconnected the reactor from the power grid. Fortunately, the plant had back-up diesel generators for the cooling and safety systems.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has responded by expressing gratitude for the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s remarks. The statement reaffirms the importance of the Sino-Russian relationship. It also signals an increase in Chinese imports of Russian oil.