The Vostok 2022 exercise will last until September 7 showing strengthening ties and defence cooperation between Russia and China.Russia has launched week-long military drills involving forces from China and other nations, an exercise that shows growing defence cooperation between Moscow and Beijing as they both face tensions with the United States.
The large-scale manoeuvres also seem to be intended to demonstrate that Russia has sufficient military might for enormous drills even as its troops are engaged in action in Ukraine.
The Russian defence ministry said the Vostok 2022 (East 2022) exercise will be held until September 7 at seven firing ranges in Russia’s Far East and the Sea of Japan, and that it involves more than 50,000 troops and 5,000 weapons units, including 140 aircraft and 60 warships.
Russian General Staff chief, General Valery Gerasimov, will personally oversee the drills, which will involve troops from several ex-Soviet nations, China, India, Laos, Mongolia, Nicaragua and Syria.The defence ministry noted that the Russian and Chinese navies will “practice joint action to protect sea communications, areas of marine economic activity, and support for ground troops in littoral areas” in the Sea of Japan.
Growing cooperation with China
Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have developed strong personal ties to bolster a “strategic partnership” between the former communist rivals as they both are locked in a rivalry with the United States.
China has refused to criticise Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, saying the United States is the “main instigator” of the conflict by supporting NATO expansion and putting sanctions on Moscow.
In return, Russia has strongly supported China amid tensions with the US caused by its House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taiwan.