China and Mongolia are set to take part in Russia’s upcoming Vostok-2018 military drills, the largest in decades, as a response to their national security strategy as well as a response to the USA and NATO posturing about great power competition.
The United States’ Nuclear Posture Review, released in January 2018, indicated that great power competition, not terrorism, is now the primary focus of US national security.
According to CBS News, Vostok-2018 will be something of a repeat of Zapad-81 (1981 war games held by the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe), but in some senses even bigger, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said.
The Vostok [“east”] exercise is one of four large-scale annual training exercises conducted by the Russian armed forces. The others are “Zapad” [west], “Central” and “Caucasus.”
The maneuvers are expected to involve almost 300,000 troops, more than 1,000 aircraft, two of Russia’s naval fleets and all its airborne units, Shoigu said Tuesday.
In addition, Xinhua reported China is sending 3,200 troops and about 900 weapons, while the Mongolians are sending an unknown number of troops. The maneuvers will last from September 11 to 15, 2018.
“Objectively the purpose of the large military drills by China and Russia is self-evident. 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. Therefore, China-Russia alliance is a reasonable stance against the hegemonic impulse and for safeguarding peace and stability of the region and the world.”
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point Military News 2018.