Russia to hold joint military exercises with China
“The exercise isn’t directed against any specific countries or military alliances and is purely defensive"
Russia will participate in military exercises with China amid escalating tensions between the pair and Western nations over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine and Chinese aspirations to control Taiwan.
The Vostok 2022 exercise will be held in the Russian Far East and the Sea of Japan, per the Epoch Times. The Russian Ministry of Defense has said it will include over 50,000 troops, 140 aircraft and 60 warships.
Russia has insisted that the exercises with China were not indicative of further territorial aspirations, but were simply routine defensive preparations.
“The exercise isn’t directed against any specific countries or military alliances and is purely defensive,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Fomin said, according to the Times.
The drills will occur from Sept. 1-7 and will include participants from former Soviet states and other Russian allies such as Syria and Nicaragua. It will also reportedly include troops from India, a Chinese rival that recently clashed with the communist superpower over lingering Himalayan border disputes.
Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine more than six months ago, but has made slow progress in its effort to conquer the country. The drills come amid reports of an expected Ukrainian counteroffensive.
China, meanwhile, has become increasingly bellicose in its rhetoric toward Taiwan and its Western allies amid controversy surrounding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's diplomatic visit to the island.