Russia and China to counter Washington’s “hegemonic impulse” with military exercise


BEIJING:, AUGUST 30: China will join Russia in a giant military exercise, sending a message of deterrence to the United States which has designated Beijing and Moscow as “revisionist powers”.
The five day Vostok -2018 exercises to be held from September 11 will be bigger that Zapad- 81—the mammoth manoeuvres carried out in Eastern Europe by the former Soviet Union in 1981. Mongolia will be third country participating in this mega-exercise.
The Vostok-2018 will involve a jaw dropping 300,000 troops. They will engage in tri-service mock-operations involving 1000 military aircraft, two of Russia’s naval fleets and all its airborne units, Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday. Nearly 36,000 military vehicles will participate in the drills that will take place at Russia’s Tsugol training range in the trans-Baikal region
China will dispatch about 3,200 troops, along with more than 900 pieces of weaponry, as well as 30 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, to take part in live-fire strikes and counter-attack training, state-run Xinhua reported, citing China’s Ministry of National Defence.
These exercises are taking place amid Washington’s growing friction with Russia and China, which include mounting sanctions and a trade war. The Pentagon’s national defence strategy unveiled in January focused on Russia and China as principle strategic challenges to the United States. In presenting the new strategy, U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis called China and Russia “revisionist powers” that “seek to create a world consistent with their authoritarian models.” Hestressed that “great power competition, not terrorism, is now the primary focus of U.S. national security”.
Russian foreign policy commentator Mark Sleboda was quoted by Sputnik as saying that the upcoming exercise are ” a clear indication to the U.S. that it’s a response to their national security strategy, as well as a response to US and NATO posturing in the South China Sea, in the Taiwanese Straits, as well as…the permanent stationing of troops that we are seeing on Russia’s western border”.
He also quoted an editorial re-published by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) website which spotlights the exercise as a response to the intentions of “hegemonic powers”. “Some hegemonic powers target China and Russia as their biggest threats, giving heavy blows to the two countries in political, economic and military areas.
Such actions have severely threatened regional and even global peace and stability,” says the edit, It adds: “Therefore, China-Russia alliance is a reasonable stance against the hegemonic impulse and for safeguarding peace and stability of the region and the world.”
Mr. Sleboda points out that since last year China and Russia have begun joint missile defence exercises —a signal that Beijing and Moscow “foresee that any strategic nuclear conflict that embroils one would, naturally, involve both”. (The Hindu)