August 25, 2018
Over the past half year the West has increasingly taken note of the significantly heightened pace of both Chinese and Russian military spending and surprising leaps forward in terms defense tech advances.
Even when Chinese or Russian systems fail, as with recent news of a nuclear-powered cruise missile touted by Putin as having “unlimited range” but now apparently lost at the bottom of the sea, Western press takes notice, and a number of Pentagon officials have also warned especially of rapidly advancing Chinese systems.
Increasingly, the two powers are cooperating more directly as with Russia’s upcoming military games, said to be the largest such exercise since the Soviet Union, where China is set to participate by sending a mass contingency of elite troops.
According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP) the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will participate by sending about 3,200 elite forces troops, along with 30 fix-wing aircraft and helicopters to the Russian-hosted exercises.
Russia’s biggest military games in 35 years, called the Vostok 2018 exercises, are set to begin at the Tsugol training range in Russia’s Far East Trans-Baikal region on September 11, and are scheduled to go through the 15th.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Crucially, one major element to the games sure to attract the attention of Washington military planners is the inclusion of simulated nuclear weapons attacks. Both countries are among the world’s major longtime nuclear armed powers, and both happen to be in the midst of soaring tensions with the United States — Russia the target of sanctions and wide-ranging accusations of election meddling, and China in a trade war that sees no signs of abating.
The SCMP cites one Beijing based military expert, Zhou Chenming, to explain that the PLA is seeking to gain greater military experience as its last major combat…