Russian Federation kicked off the biggest war games in its history yesterday, mobilising 300,000 troops joined by more than 3,000 Chinese soldiers in a show of military might meant to counter what it called the "aggressive and unfriendly" attitudes towards it.
Russian guards prepare to take a part in a parade prior to military exercises on the training ground Tsugol, about 250 kilometres south-east of Chita during Vostok 2018 in Eastern Siberia, Russia, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018.
The military exercises come amid escalating tensions between Moscow and the west over accusations of Russian interference in western affairs and conflicts in Ukraine and Syria. Later stages will involve rehearsals of both defensive and offensive scenarios.
At a news conference after their talks, Xi also touted the relationship between Russian Federation and China, which has a far larger population and an economy several times the size of Russia's.
Moscow rallied almost 300,000 troops, over 1,000 aircraft, helicopters and drones, 36,000 tanks, and 80 warships and military vessels for the military drills.
Syrian troops and militia backed by Russian warplanes mounted their first coordinated assault on Syrian insurgents yesterday (7 October), while Moscow said its warships fired a barrage of missiles at Syria from the Caspian Sea.
Relations between Russian Federation and the West have been severely strained by Moscow's actions in Ukraine and Syria and its alleged interference in elections in the United States and European countries.
- At least 24 helicopters and six fighter jets belonging to the Chinese air force are taking part in the exercise. Beijing has said 3,200 members of the People's Liberation Army will join in.
"The Chinese officers and soldiers participating in the drills will demonstrate the determination and ability to maintain regional peace and stability with practical actions", it said.
"When planning the manoeuvres, we performed all the obligations pursuant to the Agreement with China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic on strengthening trust in military sphere on borders", the Ministry said in a statement.
The week-long drills come at a time of heightened North Atlantic Treaty Organisation tensions with Russian Federation.
For others, the joining together of China and Russian Federation in the war games with such magnitude is a showcase of their military might.
"I think that nations act out of their interests". The military training operation is set to eclipse the Soviet Union's largest-ever exercise held in 1981.
"We have agreed to conduct such exercises on a regular basis", Shoigu said.