Subs, ships and aftersales service: how Russia’s military is making Moscow a player in the Asia-Pacific

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When Russian troops stage their biggest military exercise in decades in the country’s far east later this month, Chinese counterparts will be there alongside them.

Even though the countries’ militaries routinely hold joint exercises, the decision to include China in Vostok 2018 surprised some defence analysts because the drills had previously been off-limits to foreign armed forces – and in some cases included potential conflict scenarios with China.

With both countries seeking to check US influence in the region, Russia’s invitation to China is a strong step forward in the already close military relationship between the countries – one that has been marked lately by increased bilateral drills, as well as technology and classified information exchange. But Russia’s break from precedent this year can also be seen as a sign of Russia’s desire to be a high-profile player in the East…

Read more : SCMP, 06.09.2018