Small Wars Journal

China Joins Russian Drills in Sign of Growing Military Ties

China Joins Russian Drills in Sign of Growing Military Ties by Thomas Grove and Jeremy Page – Wall Street Journal

Chinese and Russian troops began joint maneuvers Tuesday, marking the first time Moscow has invited a country outside a tight circle of former Soviet allies to its largest annual exercises and offering Chinese generals rare and valuable experience training outside their country’s borders.

The five days of drills in Russia’s far east, near the Chinese border, are also meant to demonstrate the extent to which the two sides are moving beyond symbolic displays of force to coordinate weapons systems and command structures. Washington says the two countries have developed capabilities that could test U.S. military dominance in times of crisis.

The military relationship between Beijing and Moscow has gathered pace in the past few years as both countries have seen their relations with Washington deteriorate. Both countries are undergoing intense military modernization and reform, and Chinese President Xi Jinping wants to turn his armed forces into a more expeditionary fighting force…

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which warily watched last year’s Russian military exercises along its European border, said the exercise with China follows a pattern of more assertive Russian behavior flaunting its multibillion-dollar military modernization.

For Chinese military commanders, the exercises will grant insight not only into how Russia plans for large-scale conflict, but also into how to extend logistical and supply chains…

Read on.