YINCHUAN, Aug. 9 — The exercise ZAPAD/INTERACTION-2021 kicked off at a combined arms tactical training base of the PLA Army in Qingtongxia City of West China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. General Li Zuocheng, member of China’s Central Military Commission (CMC) and Chief of the CMC Joint Staff Department, attended the launch ceremony as the chief conductor of the exercise and officially announced the commencement.
Participating troops from both sides formed 13 ground phalanxes and two air echelons to parade at the launch ceremony. Lieutenant General Liu Xiaowu, deputy commander of the PLA Western Theater Command and commanding officer of the Chinese participating troops, and his Russian counterpart, deputy commander of Russia’s Eastern Military District addressed the ceremony respectively.
The exercise aims to expand the depth of joint counter terrorism 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. It also marks that the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership, bilateral strategic mutual trust and pragmatic exchange and cooperation have reached a new height in the new era. Moreover, it testifies to the solid friendship of the two militaries beyond the limits of COVID-19, demonstrating a new look of military exercises conducted by major countries in the new era.
The exercise focuses on jointly maintaining regional security and stability. China’s Central Military Commission (CMC) formed a directing department, and established a three-level commanding system comprised of “the headquarters, joint command, and participating troops” to carry out the exercise in two phases of joint planning and land attack.
The first phase will focus on the judgment, consultation, decision-making and coordination capacities of the joint command, and 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.