The Russian-Chinese Zapad/Interaction Military Exercise 2021 has reached its active phase. Servicemen of two countries had a series of joint training sessions where the Russian military drove Chinese armored vehicles and conducted proof firing.
The joint maneuvers of Russian and Chinese troops were held in the Ningxia-Hui Autonomous Region in the northwest of China from August 9 to 13 and involved 13,000 servicemen, some 200 planes and helicopters, 200 armoured vehicles and about 100 artillery systems from both sides. Russia sent to the exercise motorized infantry, a special task force unit and several pilots on Su-30SM fighter jets of the Eastern Military District.
The Eastern Military District press service reported that servicemen of the two countries had joint training in driving combat vehicles and tanks of the People's Liberation Army of China and also had gunnery practice ahead of the Russian-Chinese military exercise.
“On the one hand, this exercise is a positive event,” military expert Col (Ret) Mikhail Khodarenok told wek.ru, “it strengthens mutual understanding and improves interaction mechanisms in possible hypothetical actions within coalition groups. After all, any combat training exercise is a good thing because troops fight during a war in exactly the same way as they do in peacetime when they have combat training.
“On the other hand, we have to understand that China is the superpower of our time. So, it is extremely important not to play the role of a little brother when it comes to cooperation.”
Lieutenant General Liu Xiaou, deputy commander of the Western Zone of the Combat Command of the People's Liberation Army of China (PLA), said that Chinese servicemen would use the latest Y-20 military transport aircraft to land troops and combat equipment in the joint exercise with Russian army.
The West has already expressed concern over the start of the joint Russian-Chinese war games. The Western analytical community is frightened even by the very possibility of Russia and China planning and conducting joint missions of this kind. Moreover, London called the maneuvers a chilling warning to NATO countries following the withdrawal of the alliance from Afghanistan.
According to TASS, during the counter-terrorism exercises, representatives of the commands of the Russian and Chinese armed forces drilled intelligence data exchange, joint command of troops, strikes and logistics in the joint use of aviation, artillery, armored vehicles and manpower.