Chinese, Russian militaries to strengthen strategic exercises, joint patrols: defense ministers
Published: Nov 24, 2021 01:02 AM
The national flags of China and Russia are seen on Red Square, Moscow. Photo: Xinhua

The national flags of China and Russia are seen on Red Square, Moscow. File Photo: Xinhua

Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense, Wei Fenghe, and Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, held talks on Tuesday via video link, during which they pledged to deepen strategic collaboration between the two militaries in fields like joint strategic exercises and patrols to make contributions to safeguarding the core interests of both countries and maintaining regional peace and stability.

Experts believe that the talks suggest that joint drills and patrols will become a normalized arrangement between the two militaries and the possibility of a joint sea-air patrol between the two sides in the future cannot be ruled out. 

The two sides recognized that China and Russia's comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era has maintained development at a high level, with the two militaries forging ahead with new breakthroughs in various fields, especially in joint drills.

The navy, army and air force of China and Russia, have carried out strategic cooperation in 2021 facing mounting concerns over regional instability. 

The two countries' air forces conducted a joint air patrol in the Asia-Pacific region on November 19 and their first joint sea patrol in waters in the West Pacific was held between October 17 and 23. 

A joint strategic exercise was also conducted between the two sides in August in Northwest China, with the live-fire phase featuring some of the most advanced weapons in the world and strong saturation firepower that analysts said would overwhelm any enemy.

China's advanced Type 055, a 10,000 ton-class large destroyer, also joined for the first time with a foreign navy, as China and Russia kicked off a joint naval drill in the Sea of Japan in mid-October.

The talks on Tuesday suggest that joint drills and patrols between China and Russia's major military branches will continue to be held in a normalized regular manner in the future, Zhang Junshe, a senior research fellow at the Naval Research Academy of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

These moves have displayed the high level of strategic trust between the two militaries and will further enhance their capability to jointly deal with security threats, Zhang added. 

Observers noted that the possibility of a joint sea-air patrol between the two countries cannot be ruled out, although no specific schedules have been announced yet. 

In stark contrast to the AUKUS alliance between the US, UK and Australia, which is an obvious attempt to pull in allies and target a third country, the collaboration between China and Russia is aimed at enhancing defense mechanisms in face of the mounting threats of regional instability and will only benefit regional peace, Zhang noted. 

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