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Russia and China will conduct their first ever joint military exercises in August or September to better coordinate the fight against terrorism, the AFX news agency reported, citing an article in the China Daily newspaper.
Russian First Deputy Defence Minister Alexander Belousov confirmed the war games during talks in Beijing, the newspaper said.
“We will hold our first joint command staff exercises with the Chinese army in August or September involving various forces to practice issues involving fighting our common enemy —- international terrorism,” he said.
In December, the Russian news agency Interfax said the exercises would be on Chinese territory and include the army, navy, air force units, and submarines.
Russia and China have had tense relations in the past, with the two sides fighting two brief border wars in the 1950s, but the border dispute was resolved last year when Moscow gave up rights to a few small disputed islands.
Russia remains one of China’s top arms suppliers, with a 15-year-old arms embargo in effect from the European Union.
Russian-Chinese defense cooperation gained momentum in the 1990s after Western nations imposed the embargo following the 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protestors in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
Cooperation was cemented in 2000 at a summit meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his then Chinese counterpart Jiang Zemin.