Chinese and Russian forces will take part in joint military exercises in southern Russia later this month along with troops from Armenia, Belarus, Iran, Myanmar, Pakistan and others, China’s Defence Ministry announced on Thursday.

The “Caucus 2020” drills will deploy wheeled vehicles and light weaponry to be flown to the drill location by China’s latest version transport aircraft.

The exercises running from September 21 to 26 will focus on defensive tactics, encirclement and battlefield control and command, the ministry said.

Since establishing a “comprehensive strategic partnership” two decades ago, China and Russia have cooperated increasingly closely on military matters and diplomacy, largely to counter US influence.

Their militaries regularly hold joint exercises and they back each other in the United Nations over issues including Syria and North Korea, but the drills come as China is embroiled in territorial disputes with several nations in the South China Sea, and with India over its Himalayan border.

This week is also holding drills in the Bohai Sea, and live-fire exercises in the southern part of the Yellow Sea. Part of four separate exercises that include disputed South China Sea areas.

China has also held frequent military activities near Chinese-claimed Taiwan.

Source » smh

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