Chinese military update
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The Russian military’s participation in China’s conventional military exercises for the first time this week has raised concerns among Western analysts that the two US adversaries are developing joint combat capabilities.
The Western Joint Exercise 2021 is an exercise involving more than 10,000 people in the western region of Ningxia. The focus is on early warning reconnaissance, electronic warfare, and joint attacks. statement From the Ministry of Defense of China and Russia.
With the U.S. quit The remaining troops are from Afghanistan. After Beijing and Moscow have contacted the Taliban, the exercise is being closely watched to find signs that the Chinese and Russian forces are learning to coordinate tasks and carry out joint operations.
“This is the first time the Chinese have really delved into it and allowed the Russians to participate in an exercise of their own,” Roderick said. plumResearch director of the China Aerospace Research Institute of Air Force University, supported by the U.S. Aerospace Forces.
“The specialized bilateral exercises they often conduct are aimed at developing relationships, not actual combat capabilities.”
Mikhail Barabanov, director of the Center for Strategic and Technical Analysis of the Moscow Defense Think Tank, said that Russia’s decision to participate “is undoubtedly a step towards deepening interaction and military cooperation.” “It seems that this kind of cooperation will deepen soon [than expected], Involving all new strategies of both parties. “
Although Moscow and Beijing insist that their relationship is not a formal defense alliance, analysts believe that the two militaries can allow access to each other’s electronic communication systems and establish a joint command structure.
“When they said it was not an alliance, I hesitated,” Li said. “If we see them fighting side by side and starting to share some intelligence and communications, then there will be some interoperability in conflicts or crises.”
Chinese Army media Last weekend, it was stated that Russian soldiers would obtain the right to use Chinese armored vehicles for the first time.
“The question is whether they allow Russians to access some of these information systems,” Li said. “The Russians may start to give China some access to their space-based assets or communications assets. This is where I feel they are heading.”
The Chinese and Russian armies began to unite Exercise In 2005, they only cooperated in the annual peace mission exercise of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and traditionally focused on fighting the insurgency in Central Asia.
But since 2012, Russia and China have been regularly holding bilateral naval exercises. Since 2018, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army has participated in three annual Russian strategic exercises, held in eastern, central and southern Russia.
However, the PLA is expected to skip the large-scale exercises held in western Russia this year.
Analysts believe that Beijing hopes to avoid exacerbating NATO countries’ concerns about China’s military strength.
Richard Weitz, director of the Center for Political and Military Analysis at Hudson University, said: “China has cleverly avoided the question of whether to bring ground forces directly to the eastern border of NATO, allowing China’s exercise to replace Russia’s exercise.” Washington Think Tank Research Place.