As the last American troops leave Afghanistan, China and Russia will train together to combat terrorism.
Next month, China will welcome Russia for joint mass drills featuring counterterrorism training, just as the last American troops leave Afghanistan.
The Chinese and Russian defense ministries issued a joint statement on Thursday stating that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s Western Theater Command will join troops from Russia’s Eastern Military District for a large-scale exercise called West-Interaction 2021 in the Chinese city of Qingtongxia, which is located along the Yellow River.
The two military plan to set up a joint command center to monitor the activities of 10,000 troops, as well as numerous aircraft, artillery, and armored vehicles. For the combined maneuvers encompassing a variety of objectives, the plan is to mix personnel from both sides to improve interoperability.
“In order to verify and improve both troops’ capabilities of joint reconnaissance, search and early warning, electronic information attack, and joint attack and elimination,” the statements said, “the two sides’ participating troops will be mixed into teams to make plans jointly and conduct training together.”
The overarching objectives were both political and tactical in nature.
The exercise aims to “consolidate and develop the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination in the new era,” “deepen practical cooperation and traditional friendship between the two militaries,” and “further demonstrate the two sides’ resolve and capability to fight terrorist forces and jointly safeguard regional peace and security,” according to the statements.
As these drills take place in China, US forces are nearing the end of their departure from neighboring Afghanistan, which is scheduled to end on August 31.
Both Beijing and Moscow are concerned about Afghanistan’s future as US troops withdraw for the first time in 20 years. While both powers have been skeptical of Washington’s engagement in the crisis, they now see themselves as having to step up in order to maintain stability and avoid regional repercussions.
China and Russia will interact militarily with other states in addition to their bilateral drills.
China and Russia will also compete in the annual International Army Games in August, with Belarus, Israel, Mongolia, Serbia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. This is a condensed version of the information.