Russian Federation includes China in biggest war games in decades

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Moscow said the weeklong manoeuvrers, known as Vostok (East) 2018, would span vast expanses of Siberia and the Far East, the Arctic and the Pacific Ocean and involve nearly a third of Russia's million-strong military.

Vostok 2018 comes amid increasing tensions between Moscow and the West over Russia's involvement in the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria. He said Moscow is interested in seeing how Beijing military has evolved through modern times given that the country has not fought since 1979.

China is sending 3,200 troops to take part in the Vostok 2018 exercises later this week. The exercise is being held in areas that evened skirmishes in 1969 when the border disputes between the two countries threatened to scale into a full-scale conflict.

"The focus of the drill has expanded from anti-terrorism to allied defence and counter-attack", China's defence ministry said in a statement.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spokesperson Dylan White said that the military organization has been briefed about the exercise in May and it would monitor it. "Vostok demonstrates Russia's focus on exercising large-scale conflict".

"Russia has very strong real combat abilities and the participation of the [People's Liberation Army] in such a large-scale military exercise ... indicates China's intention to learn more valuable combat practices and lift its ability for joint combat", Mr Song said.

Moscow sent some 300,000 troops to join the Chinese Army near the countries' border on Tuesday.

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The massive military exercise comes as tensions run high between Washington and Moscow, and NATO-Russia relations also appear to be weak.

On September 11, Vostok-2018 drill started in the Russian Far East.

"We have agreed to conduct such exercises on a regular basis", General Sergei Shoigu stated Wednesday as he toured the Tsugol firing range in eastern Siberia where thousands of Russian and Chinese troops are training together for war.

"Imagine 36,000 war machines moving at the same time: tanks, armoured vehicles and infantry carriers, and all of this, of course, in conditions as close as possible to the battle", Shoigu said with enthusiasm.

Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning said Monday that the U.S. respects Russian Federation and China's decision to hold military exercises, something the United States also does with its allies and worldwide partners.

Relations between Russian Federation and the West declined sharply in 2014 with Moscow's annexation of Crimea and the subsequent conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The joint drills are to be held for 5 days through Saturday.

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