China-Russia Week Long War Games — Growing Military Ties

Russian T-80 main battle tank fires during a show at a shooting range in Alabino outside of Moscow Russia

Dubbed Vostok 2018, the enormous exercise will include nearly 300,000 troops, more than 1000 planes, helicopters and drones and around 36,000 tanks, bombproof labor force conveyers and other vehicles as per the Russian officials.

Some of the first exercises will revolve around anti-aircraft technology, according to Russia's defence ministry.

The Vostok exercise highlights two important, seemingly contradictory things about the relationship between China and Russian Federation.

The Russian army has compared the show of force to the USSR's 1981 war games that saw between 100,000 and 150,000 Warsaw Pact soldiers take part in "Zapad-81" (West-81) - the largest military exercises of the Soviet era.

The Vostok-2018 drills involve around 300,000 troops, more than 1,000 aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles, up to 80 vessels, up to 36,000 tanks, armored personnel carriers, and other vehicles.

As the manoeuvres began on Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Russian Federation to attend an economic forum in Vladivostok. Putin is expected to visit the war games later this week.

China-Russia Week Long War Games — Growing Military Ties
China-Russia Week Long War Games — Growing Military Ties

He added he believed the "friendship is getting stronger all the time" between the two countries.

Big Russia-China war games are apparently going to be routine going forward, the Russian defense minister revealed Wednesday.

"This is a milestone for Sino-Russian military ties", Alexander Gabuev, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Moscow Center, wrote on Twitter.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has denounced the exercises as a rehearsal for a "large-scale military conflict". He was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying that the drills are "also a response to the USA sanctions".

Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning said Monday that the U.S. respects Russian Federation and China's decision to hold military exercises, something the United States also does with its allies and worldwide partners. Mongolia is also sending some units.

On September 11, Vostok-2018 drill started in the Russian Far East.

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The Kremlin has insisted the exercises are routine and purely defensive.

The Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, dismissed such concerns on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, political observers and defense experts have differing opinions about the Vostok 2018, particularly on the fact that China is participating.

"It is important not to exaggerate the significance of the Vostock 2018 drills", Watling wrote. Russian Federation has denied the drills are a cause for worry.

The massive military exercise comes as tensions run high between Washington and Moscow, and NATO-Russia relations also appear to be weak.

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