The decision “is not connected to the international and regional situation”, explains the Ministry of Defense of Beijing: but comes after days of growing tensions between the West and China due to the mission to Taiwan of the Speaker of the US House, Nancy Pelosi
There China has announced that it will send its soldiers to Russia to take part in joint military exercises – called “Vostok” (which means “East” in Russian) – which will take place between 30 August and 5 September. The exercises include the participation – as well as troops from Moscow and Beijing – from those from India, Belarus, Mongolia and Tajikistan.
The decision, according to the Chinese defense ministry, “is not linked to the current international and regional situation”, and is part of an annual bilateral cooperation agreement. The exercise will take place in Russia’s Eastern Military District, which includes part of Siberia and is headquartered in Khabarovsk, near the Chinese border.
Beijing underlines that similar exercises have been carried out in recent years, and that their goal is to “deepen practical and friendly cooperation between the armies of the participating countries; increase the level of strategic collaboration; strengthen the ability to respond to various security threats ”, according to a note quoted by the Reuters news agency. The last time Russia carried out the Vostok exercises was in 2018; on that occasion, China participated for the first time.
Then Beijing sent 3,200 infantry units, over 900 military vehicles and 30 fighters and helicopters: it was the largest contingent ever sent from China to carry out an exercise abroad. In all, around 300,000 men were employed by the countries involved (NATO estimated between 75,000 and 100,000), over 900 aircraft and 36,000 tanks and armored vehicles, for the largest military exercise on former Soviet soil. in over forty years.
Shortly before the invasion of Ukraine, Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin had announced a “borderless” collaboration between their respective countries.
The announcement will do nothing to lower the growing tensions between China and the United States, which have reached particularly high levels after the visit of the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, to Taiwan in recent days.
During his visit Pelosi reiterated the “unshakeable commitment” of the United States “to support Taiwan’s democracy”, which China considers part of its territory.
Considering that meeting a provocation, Beijing reacted by announcing and carrying out military air and naval exercises, with large-scale jets and missiles in the Taiwan Strait; just today, Taiwan responded in turn with exercises in the same area.
Beijing accuses Washington of encouraging Taiwan’s drive for independence by selling arms and letting American politicians express their support for the island in a clear manner. The United States, which continues its policy of “strategic ambiguity” towards Taiwan, says it does not support its independence, and reiterates that it has no formal diplomatic relationship with Taiwan, but it intends to ensure the ability to defend itself from threats. Chinese.
Russia – which has sought the support of China since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine – immediately took the opportunity to criticize the United States; Yesterday, Vladimir Putin called Pelosi’s visit “a provocation against Beijing”, and accused the West of wanting to replicate military alliances along the lines of NATO also in the Pacific quadrant.
In recent months, the US has seen no evidence that China has circumvented Western sanctions on Russia, which Beijing has never condemned for the invasion of Ukraine.
August 17, 2022 (change August 17, 2022 | 14:06)
© REPRODUCTION RESERVED