Moscow: Kicking off its largest war games since the fall of the Soviet Union on Tuesday, Russia hosted a bilateral meeting between President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Vladivostok city.
The meeting comes in the backdrop of the United States of America slapping sanctions on Russia and an escalating US-China trade war.
The three-day meeting in the Russian city of Vladivostok also brought together leaders from Japan and South Korea as well as 5,000 delegates from 60 countries.
According to Russia’s defence ministry, the exercise named as Vostok-2018 has begun today 11 and will continue till September 17 in Russia’s Eastern Military District. It involves more than 300,000 troops, 36,000 tanks, 1,000 aircraft, and 80 warships and support vessels.
Besides, China has also decided to send 3,200 members of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to take part in the operations. The Chinese air force has also sent 24 helicopters and six jets belonging to the Russian air bases for the exercise.
In response, the drills have been condemned by North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). According to CNN, NATO has said it will monitor the exercise closely as will the United States, which has a strong military presence in the Asia-Pacific region. It is likely to be watched attentively by Japan and North and South Korea.
In 1981, the erstwhile Soviet Union exhibited its show of force as it conducted similar war games that saw between 100,000 and 150,000 Warsaw Pact soldiers take part in Zapad-81 – the largest military exercises of the Soviet era.