All participating Chinese armed forces, including Type 96A tanks and H-6K bombers, arrived in Russia Saturday for the upcoming Tsentr-2019 strategic drills. Photo: screenshot from China Central Television
Russia on Saturday held a grand welcoming ceremony upon the arrival of Chinese armed forces, including well-anticipated Type 96A tanks and H-6K bombers, for the upcoming Tsentr-2019 (Center-2019) strategic drills.
China dispatched more than 1,600 troops from the Western Theater Command and some other units of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), together with main battle equipment including Type 96A tanks, H-6K bombers, JH-7A fighter bombers, J-11 fighter jets, Il-76 and Y-9 transport planes and Z-10 attack helicopters, China Central Television reported Saturday.
"The drills will further enhance and deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era between China and Russia. It also has significant meaning on boosting our military's capability to deal with all kinds of security threats together with other countries' militaries," Ma Qixian, commander of the participating Chinese forces, told CCTV.
The drills will be held from September 16 to 21 in the Orenburg region of Russia. China, Pakistan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will participate, the Russian TASS news agency reported, citing a statement released by the Russian Defense Ministry.
Such practice is not targeted against any third party and has nothing to do with the regional situations, said Ren Guoqiang, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense, at a routine press conference on August 29.
In August 2018, China sent 3,200 troops to Russia for the Vostok-2018 (East-2018) strategic drill, marking the first time a foreign army took part in the Russian military exercise.
In July, China and Russia conducted their first joint strategic patrol in Northeast Asia, with the Chinese side dispatching two H-6K bombers and the Russian side dispatching two Tu-95 bombers, said Wu Qian, spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense at a press conference in July.