Scale of Chinese troops participating in Russian "Vostok-2018" drills makes history

China Military Online
Yao Jianing

According to the August 20 report byRussia’s Sputnik News Agency, the“Vostok-2018”will be an unprecedentedly large-scale strategic drill, attended by Chinese and Mongolian militaries as well.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygusaid, “It will be the grandest armed forces training ever since the ‘Exercise Zapad-81’. It has the significance of an international military exercise on an unprecedentedly large scale.”

According to China’s Ministry of National Defense(MND), the Chinese military will send about 3,200 troops, 900 pieces of military hardware, and 30 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters to participate in the drills. Now it is unclear about the numbers of Russian and Mongolian troops for the drills.

The scale of Chinese troops participating in the overseas military drills is incomparable in history, indicating how large the “Vostok-2018” drills will be, and also marking a new stage of China-Russia military cooperation.

Objectively, the purpose of the large military drills by China and Russia is self-evident.

Some hegemonic powers target China and Russia as their biggest threats, giving heavy blows to the two countries in political, economic and military areas. Such actions have severely threatened regional and even global peace and stability. Therefore, China-Russia cooperation is a reasonable stance against the hegemonic impulse and for safeguarding peace and stability of the region and the world.

China and Russia have no intention to set themselves against any force, as long as they receive their due respect as two major political powers in today’s world, instead of being always opposed by ill-intentioned forces.

At a critical moment whenthe world political and economic order is being severely disrupted, China and Russia have the reason to stand out to send necessary political signals to the rest of the world. The two countries allow no hegemonic power to act capriciously by making sneak attacks against them.

The large-scale military drills, as a military action second only to war, naturally has its reason.

Confronting unprecedented external challenges, Russiaspares no effortto demonstrate its military strength, one of its strong points, to overawe its opponents. Russia has always been doing so, with the same purpose by disclosing many of its advanced missiles.

One reason for China to take part in the unprecedentedly large-scale drills is to express its friendship with Russia. Besides, China’s participation indicates, to some extent, the subtle changes in its estimation of global landscapes. Especially considering the unscrupulous provocations in the South China Sea and on the Taiwan issue, China must prepare for the worst.

China-Russia cooperation against provocations is not meaningless. As the world situation evolves,China-Russia traditional friendshipbecomes increasingly important. After all, it is utterly unpredictable when their opponents will take actions.

Disclaimer:The author is Hue. The article is translated from Chinese into English and reedited by the China Military online. The information, ideas or opinions appearing in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the views of does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same. If the article carries photographs or images, we do not vouch for their authenticity.

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