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China To Join Russian Military Exercises In North Caucasus

China To Join Russian Military Exercises In North Caucasus
Image by Peter Fitzgerald, Pmx

Chinese state-run media boasted this morning about Russian-Chinese military exercises in the North Caucasus, in response to recent NATO war games in Georgia. Russia and Georgia fought a war, which saw Georgia lose territory, in 2008.

China has been bristling at American freedom of navigation runs by the U.S. Navy in the South China Sea, as well as other pushback against Beijing by the Trump administration, and is keen to rub Trump’s nose in joint exercises with Moscow.

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 Thursday, reported The Globe And Mail.

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 ministry said in a news release. The exercises running Sept. 21-26 will focus on defensive tactics, encirclement and battlefield control and command, the ministry said.

The exercises have special meaning for China-Russia ties “at this important moment when the whole world is fighting the pandemic,” the ministry said.

The Russian exercises in the North Caucasus are a direct response to NATO actions in a nation where Russia fought a war and gained territory this century as noted below.

The Georgian military started large-scale joint military exercises involving some 2,800 troops with NATO countries including the US, France, the UK and Poland on Monday, reported Reuters.

The forces will participate in the Noble Partner 2020 exercises at the Vaziani and Camp Norio training centres near the capital Tbilisi. Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia said the drills are “the most important component of efforts to make Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration achievable.”

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