Chinese troops will travel to Russia to take part in a joint exercise with Russia and other countries including India, Belarus and Tajikistan, the Chinese defence ministry announced on Wednesday.
The exercises are part of an ongoing bilateral annual cooperation agreement, it added. Similar Russian-led joint exercises involving China have taken place in recent years.
🚨 #China sending troops to #Russia for joint military drills: defense ministry
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“The aim is to deepen practical and friendly cooperation with the armies of participating countries, enhance the level of strategic collaboration among the participating parties, and strengthen the ability to respond to various security threats,” the ministry wrote.
China’s participation in the joint exercises is “unrelated to the current international and regional situation,” the ministry added.
The Chinese authorities have not condemned Russian aggression against Ukraine and objected to its being described as an invasion. They also opted against sanctions imposed on Moscow by Western countries and their allies. Beijing has also formally backed the Kremlin’s demands on NATO, with Chinese officials accusing the US and the West of exacerbating the conflict by supplying weapons to Ukraine.
In May, China’s defence ministry reported that the Chinese and Russian air forces had conducted a joint patrol over the Sea of Japan, the East China Sea and the western Pacific. These were the first Sino-Russian military manoeuvres since the start of the war in Ukraine.
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