English “Express” writes with surprise and concern about huge military exercises in Russia involving 37 countries.
Chinese state television has reported that men and materiel have been transported from Manzhouli in Inner Mongolia to Zabaikalsk in the far east of Russia, in advance of the forthcoming International Army Games.
The event is being held for the first time since February 24’s invasion. A train loaded with personnel, tanks and other vehicles departed Manzhouli recently, the military channel of state broadcaster CCTV reported yesterday, without offering additional details.
China’s team will compete against others from 37 countries and regions in what is Russia’s largest multinational military exercise, to be held between August 13 and 27.
Exercises will take place across 12 countries, including Russia and China themselves, Iran, India, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia and even Venezuela in South America.
The decision to include Venezuela could be a “strategic move” for China, Russia, Iran and Venezuela “to preposition forward-deployed military assets in Latin America and the Caribbean”, Washington-based think tank the Centre for a Secure Free Society, suggested recently.
Meanwhile, Niger and Rwanda will become the first African countries to participate, the Russian defence ministry has said.
China will host three competitions, including a frigate race and an infantry fighting vehicles game.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is hoping to learn from its Russian counterparts, with their experience of military operations in North Caucasus, Georgia, Syria and most recently Ukraine.
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