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Why in news?

  • China will join Russia in a giant military exercise, sending a message of deterrence to the U.S. which has designated Beijing and Moscow as “revisionist powers”.

5-day Exercise Vostok 2018:

  • The five-day Vostok 2018 exercises, to be held from September 11, will be bigger than Zapad 81 — the mammoth manoeuvres carried out in Eastern Europe by the former Soviet Union in 1981.
  • Mongolia will be the third country participating in the drills.
  • The Vostok-2018 will involve 300,000 troops. They will engage in tri-service mock-operations, involving 1,000 military aircraft, two of Russia’s naval fleets and all its airborne units.
  • Nearly 36,000 military vehicles will participate in the drills that will take place at Russia’s Tsugol training range in the trans-Baikal region.
  • China will dispatch about 3,200 troops, along with more than 900 pieces of weaponry, as well as 30 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters state-run Xinhua.
  • These exercises are taking place amid Washington’s growing friction with Russia and China, which include mounting sanctions and a trade war.
  • The Pentagon’s national defence strategy unveiled in January focused on Russia and China as principle strategic challenges to the U.S. In presenting the new strategy, U.S. Defence Secretary called China and Russia “revisionist powers” that “seek to create a world consistent with their authoritarian models”.
  • China quoted that exercise as a response to the intentions of “hegemonic powers”. Some hegemonic powers target China and Russia as their biggest threats, giving heavy blows to the two countries in political, economic and military areas.
  • Such actions have severely threatened regional and even global peace and stability. Therefore, the China-Russia alliance is a reasonable stance against the hegemonic impulse and for safeguarding peace and stability of the region and the world.
  • Since last year, China and Russia have begun joint missile defence exercises — a signal that Beijing and Moscow “foresee that any strategic nuclear conflict that embroils one would, naturally, involve both”.
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