Upcoming Russian-Chinese Military Exercise: September 2018


According to the Chinese press:

The Chinese military will take part in the Vostok-2018 (or East-2018) strategic drills in Russia from late August to mid-September, the Chinese Ministry of National Defense announced on Monday.

Military forces from the two countries will hold joint operation exercises at the Tsugol training range in the Trans-Baikal region in Russia from September 11 to 15, said the ministry.

“The drills are aimed at consolidating and developing the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, deepening pragmatic and friendly cooperation between the two armies, and further strengthening their ability to jointly deal with varied security threats, which are conducive to safeguarding regional peace and security,” it said.

“The military exercises are not targeted at a third party,” the ministry said.

China will dispatch about 3,200 troops, along with more than 900 pieces of weaponry and 30 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, to conduct fire strike and counter-attack training, among others, it said.

According to an article published on Business Insider, the exercise was described from the Russian side as follows:

Russia’s military forces in the country’s east were put on high alert Monday ahead of massive war games that also involve China and Mongolia, the largest show of power in nearly 40 years, the Russian defense minister said.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the five-day “snap inspection” of the troops will pave the way for the massive exercise called Vostok-2018, or East-2018, which will be held in August and September.

Vostok-2018 will be “unprecedented in scale, both in terms of area of operations and numbers of military command structure, troops and forces involved,” Shoigu said, according to The Moscow Times, adding that it will also be “the largest preparatory action for the armed forces since Zapad-81.”

The Zapad exercises in 1981 were the largest war Soviet war games ever held, according to the CIA, with about 100,000 to 150,000 troops participating.

In 2009, Russia re-initiated the Soviet-era quadrennial Zapad war games, which were most recently held last year…..

 Moscow and Beijing have conducted a series of joint military maneuvers, including exercises in the South China Sea and navy drills in the Baltics last summer.

The two countries have forged what they described as a “strategic partnership,” expressing their shared opposition to the “unipolar” world — the term they use to describe perceived U.S. global domination.

And the Moscow Times in an article published on August 20, 2018 highlights the coming exercise as follows:

The Russian military has announced the start of a five-day “snap inspection” testing the combat readiness of troops ahead of massive maneuvers in Siberia and the Far East.

Russia is holding war games dubbed Vostok-2018 (“East-2018”) in the central and eastern military districts in August and September, with some 3,200 Chinese troops scheduled to join the exercises in Siberia’s Zabaikalsky region next month. 

Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu called the upcoming games “the largest preparatory action for the armed forces since Zapad-81,” referring to war games conducted by the Soviet Union in 1981. The minister said that the upcoming games would be “unprecedented in scale, both in terms of area of operations and numbers of military command structure, troops and forces involved.”

Airborne Troops have been activated as part of the Aug. 20-25 snap inspection with long-range and transport aviation in the regions, Interfax quoted Shoigu as saying Monday.

Shoigu said that the mass inspection involving 16 special drills was launched on the orders of President Vladimir Putin.

The featured photo is from The Moscow Times article cited above and is credited to Alexander Demyanchuk / TASS.