mandag 16. august 2021

Chinese and Russian militaries link up, but analysts say both sides have differing objectives

Jets screamed across the sky and cannons boomed in northern China on Friday, as 10,000 People's Liberation Army and Russian troops gave a live-fire finale to a week of military exercises touted by both countries as a new high in bilateral military relations.

The joint exercises were the first of their kind to use a joint command and control system, with Russian troops integrated into Chinese formations, according to a statement by China's Defense Ministry.
The exercises also provided an opportunity for both sides to test new weaponry, and for Russian troops to use Chinese-made equipment, including armored assault vehicles, for the first time.

The joint drills, which were partially intended to enhance anti-terrorism capabilities, come as the security situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate amid the collapse of the US-backed governemnt in Kabul.
But analysts in the West and in Russia have questioned the real military value of the exercises, suggesting Beijing and Moscow likely had differing objectives, from propaganda to economic. Speaking to CNN, Peter Layton, a fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute in Australia, described the exercises as mostly theater, put on for the media.