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The drills began on July 27 at the Chebarkul military training ground in Russia’s Chelyabinsk region and involved commanders and troops of the Russian Army’s Central Military District and the Shenyang Military Area Command of China’s People’s Liberation Army(PLA).
Earlier between July 6-12 Moscow and Beijing held the “Joint Sea – 2013” drills under the aegis of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation(SCO) in Peter the Great Gulf in the Sea of Japan. This exercise was China’s largest military drills with a foreign partner.
Russia and China have, in recent years, strived to deepen military cooperation demonstrating a growing mutual trust between the two states, moving away from the Soviet times in which ties were strained.
“Russian-Chinese military drills are a logical outcome of the geopolitical realities of the 21st century. Washington’s pivot to Asia is seen with apprehension in both Moscow and Beijing – wherever the US goes, military violence and wars follow,” Peter Lavelle, host of CrossTalk program at RT told The BRICS Post.
America’s military pivot towards Asia, moving away from middle-east engagements and towards ensuring China does not dominate the Asian region has been a sore issue in Sino-US ties.
Andrey Ostrovskiy, Deputy Director of the Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences believes Moscow and Beijing are inevitable partners in a defence alliance.
“Our natural political and military cooperation is developing faster than economic ties. Russia and China’s membership to the SCO has definitely helped boost this ‘military union’,” Ostrovskiy told The BRICS Post.
Ostrovsky added that the two countries will have a chance to further deepen their relations at the SCO summit in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan, this September.
China, Russia and four Central Asian nations – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – formed the SCO in 2001 as a regional security bloc.
Bilateral trade between the two countries stood at $87.5 billion in 2012.
By Daria Chernyshova in Moscow, Russia for The BRICS Post