Chinese troops will travel to Russia to take part in war games along with India, Belarus, Mongolia, Tajikistan and other largely anti-Western countries, China's defense ministry said on Wednesday, adding redundantly that China's participation in the joint exercises was "unrelated to the current international and regional situation." (Narrator: it is related.)
Last month, Moscow announced plans to hold "Vostok" (East) exercises from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5, even as it wages war in Ukraine. It said at the time that some foreign forces would participate, without naming them. It turns out that the "foreign forces" account for just under half of the world's population.
China's defence ministry said its participation in the exercises was part of an ongoing bilateral annual cooperation agreement with Russia, Reuters reported.
"The aim is to deepen practical and friendly cooperation with the armies of participating countries, enhance the level of strategic collaboration among the participating parties, and strengthen the ability to respond to various security threats," the statement said.
What is perhaps most interesting about the news is that the war games will see India and China participate together, although as the Hindu times notes, it remains unclear if Indian and Chinese troops - hardly the closest of friends - will be present together or if they will participate in different drills, which will be spread across 13 different training grounds.