China's first participation in Russian "Vostok-2018" drills sends three signals

China Military Online
Huang Panyue

By GuoYuandan and Liu Yupeng

Chinese troops will leave for Russia to take part in the Russian “Vostok-2018” strategic military drills from mid-late August to mid-September, 2018.

Incorporating the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) for the first time, the “Vostok-2018” is different from the previous China-Russia joint military exercises. Some experts say this shows that the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination is further deepening in the military and security fields.

The “Vostok-2018” is one of the four regular large-scale military exercises in Russia, along with the “Zapad”, “Central” and “Caucasus”. "The 'Vostok-2018' is the largest event since the 'Exercise Zapad-81' maneuvers which has acquired international status. It has unprecedented scale both in territory and number of troops involved," Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu announced.

"The 'Vostok 2018' drills will involve Russian Eastern and Central military districts, Northern Fleet, Airborne Troops, long-range and transport aviation. Besides, it will involve military command and control bodies of the Chinese PLA and Mongolian Armed Forces,” Shoigu said.

“Unlike other previous China-Russia joint military exercises, the series of ‘Vostok’ military drills used to be conducted by Russia only,” an anonymous military expert said on August 20, adding that China’s participation in the “Vostok-2018” this time sends out some signals.

Firstly, some experts were initially worried that Russia's “Vostok-2018” might be directed against China. However, the Chinese troops’ participation in the “Vostok-2018” dispelled these doubts.

Secondly, according to the exercise subjects published by the authority, the “Vostok-2018” mainly concentrates on traditional security, unlike previous China-Russia joint military exercises which focused on non-traditional security challenges.

Thirdly, the Chinese troops’ participation in the Russian military drills shows that China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination is further deepening in the military and security fields.

According to Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of Russia’s National Defense magazine, in view of the escalating pressure exerted by the US on Russia and China, such military drills show that America's attempt to contain Russia and China will not work.

Disclaimer: The article is an editorial of the Global Times. It is translated from Chinese into English and edited 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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