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Fri, 08/13/2021 - 16:06
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Russian, Chinese armies should boost land, air and sea interaction — Shoigu

MINNING /China/, August 13. /TASS/. Building up interaction of the Russian and Chinese armies on land, in the air and at sea is an important direction of the militaries of the two countries, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Friday. "The practice of holding joint operational and combat training measures has become regular for Russia and China. We have reached a high level of interaction of our armed forces on land, in the air and at sea. Building it up is an important direction of further activity," the Russian defense minister said at a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe. The Russian defense chief made this statement after the Sibu/Interaction 2021 joint Russia-China strategic drills involving over 10,000 troops came to an end at the Qingtongxia training ground in northern China. As Shoigu pointed out, more than two weeks passed since he met with his Chinese counterpart at a meeting of the defense ministers from the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) held in the capital of Tajikistan, Dushanbe, on July 28. The Russian defense chief thanked Wei Fenghe for an invitation to visit China and the opportunity to observe together the active phase of the Sibu/Interaction 2021 joint operational and strategic maneuvers. "We have held this event on the territory of China with the participation of the Russian contingent for the first time, which has become a logical follow-up of our joint work that commenced in the course of the Vostok 2018 [East 2018] maneuvers of troops and forces, the Tsentr 2019 [Center 2019] and the Kavkaz 2020 [Caucasus 2020] strategic command and staff drills," Shoigu said. Active interaction The Russian and Chinese armed forces have been also participating in Peace Mission multilateral counter-terror drills for many years, annually carry out joint air patrols by long-range aircraft of both countries and conduct Joint Sea naval maneuvers, the Russian defense minister said. Speaking about improving the military personnel’s combat skills, Shoigu pointed to the successes achieved by the teams from Russia and China at the International Army Games. "China is a traditional participant and a co-organizer of these unique competitions among military professionals from various countries. I wish your teams successes," Shoigu said. Despite the pandemic, a record number of countries participate in the International Army Games, he added. "I fully share your assessments of the current state and the prospects of the development of bilateral cooperation in the defense sphere," Shoigu said, addressing his Chinese counterpart. Practical interaction of the Russian Armed Forces and the People’s Liberation Army of China is reaching a new qualitative level and this contributes to global and regional stability, the Russian defense chief said. Read more