From August 9 to 13, the joint exercise Zapad/Interaction-2021 was held at the coordination tactical training ground of the PLA Army in Tsingtungxia, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region of China. Since 2005, China and Russia have held a series of joint military exercises such as the “Peace Mission” , “Joint Sea” under the bilateral and multilateral frameworks. In the Zapad/Interaction-2021, the Russian military has for the first time dispatched an organic troop unit to take part in an exercise of military strategics and campaigns led by the Chinese side.
Tsentr (Center) - 2019 and Kavkaz - 2020 Major General Jin Yinan, an expert of the National Defense Strategy Committee of China Development Strategics Association at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and professor of the Department of Strategic Education and Research at the PLA National Defense University (NDU), observed the exercise at the training ground. He believed that this exercise marks a new high of cooperation between the two armed forces.
“China and Russia: Joining hands to build peace”
A slogan of the exercise reading “China and Russia: Joining hands to build peace” demonstrated the political significance of the exercise, Jin said in an interview.
In the exercise, focusing on jointly safeguarding regional security and stability, the Chinese and Russian participating troops were mixed into groups, made drilling plans together and carried out joint operations. In addition, a special operational command information system for both militaries was put into function in the exercise for the first time, making the mixed grouping of the participating troops of the two militaries possible. Under the special operational command information system, the two militaries accomplished coordination between their air and ground forces, unified the combat rules of both sides, and established a united operational system including the battlefield information system.
During the exercise, the Russian troops used a large number of weapon ssystems provided by the Chinese side and spoke highly of them in terms of both the operational and tactical performance and practicalities, Jin said.
China and Russia stand hand in hand to build peace. The cooperation between the two countries has a long history. Jin said that in the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea, the Chinese People’s Volunteers (CPV) received substantial assistance from the Soviet Union, for example, the Soviet Union offered a large number of armaments for CPV’s land and air forces. The history of cooperation between China and Russia to jointly safeguard regional peace should date back to the cooperation between China and the Soviet Union in the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea, Jin concluded.
Laying a firmer foundation for cooperation
The favorable situation of China-Russia cooperation does not pop up in recent years. In fact, China and Russia have been in good and successful cooperation since a long time ago, now, through joint military exercises, the two countries have laid a more solid foundation for deeper cooperation under new conditions. This joint exercise was featured with an effective integration and coordination between the land and air forces, the next joint exercise will be staged between the Chinese and Russian navies, Jin said.
In his opinion, the effective coordination between the Chinese and Russian land and air forces in the joint exercise Zapad/Interaction-2021 has truly demonstrated to the world that the two countries have capability to jointly safeguard regional peace, instead of fighting alone. To safeguard regional peace has been a consensus between China and Russia, Jin believes that the cooperation between the two countries to jointly safeguard peace will be a new area and will create new capabilities in their strive for peace.