China hails ‘solid friendship’ with Russia as military drill kicks off

Exercise shows determination, ability of both sides to jointly safeguard international, regional peace, says Beijing

ANKARA (AA) – A joint military exercise of China and Russia got underway on Monday, with Beijing saying the drill “testifies to the solid friendship of the two militaries beyond the limits of COVID-19.”

The Zapad/Interaction-2021 military exercise also demonstrates “a new look of military exercises conducted by major countries in the new era,” China’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Senior military officers attended the opening ceremony as the drill started at a combined arms tactical training base of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in the city of Qingtongxia in the western Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

“The exercise aims to expand the depth of joint counterterrorism efforts of the Chinese and Russian militaries and demonstrates the firm determination and strong ability of both sides to jointly safeguard international and regional peace and security,” read the statement.

It also marks the two countries’ “comprehensive strategic partnership, bilateral strategic mutual trust, and pragmatic exchange and cooperation have reached a new height in the new era.”

More than 10,000 personnel, multiple types of aircraft, artillery pieces, and armored equipment will be part of exercises to “test joint reconnaissance, early warning, electronic information attack and joint strike capabilities.”

The first phase of the military exercises will “focus on the judgment, consultation, decision-making and coordination capacities of the joint command, while the second phase on the joint operations training, such as conducting saturation attacks, destroying the enemy’s operation system, and annihilating the remnants of the enemy forces,” the statement added.


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