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Chinese troops take part in Russia’s biggest military exercise in 40 years

Posted by Dylan Malyasov on


Hundreds of Chinese armoured combat vehicles, attack helicopters, fighter jets and thousands of soldiers take part in the biggest military exercise in Russia since 1981, in a show of strength and friendship between Asia’s two largest military powers.

About 3,200 troops, along with over 1,000 pieces of weaponry and 30 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)’s Northern Theater Command, are scheduled to conduct combat training together with the Russian troops from Tuesday to Thursday.

All Chinese troops participating in the drills were moved to the region by railway and highway before the end of August and immediately started prepairing in the field.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russia’s military forces in the country’s east were on high alert ahead of a five-day “snap inspection” of troops to pave the way for the massive exercised called Vostok-2018.

Mr Shoigu said Vostok-2018 will be “unprecedented in scale, both in terms of area of operations and numbers of military command structure, troops and forces involved,” adding that it will also be “the largest preparatory action for the armed forces since Zapad-81”.

Zapad-81 Soviet war games were the largest exercises ever held back in 1981, with about 100,000 to 150,00 troops participating.

In the strategic drills, the PLA and Russian armed forces have formed a joint operational commanding system, under which military forces from the two countries will hold joint exercises including mechanized defense,fire strike and counter-attack training.

Photo by PAN Mengqi
Photo by PAN Mengqi

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