China sends soldiers to Russia for 'army games'

China’s People’s Liberation Army is sending soldiers to Russia to participate in the International Army Games 2019 which will be held in Russia and five other former Soviet states.

In addition to troops, China will be sending military equipment such as tanks and fighter aircraft to the games, whose competitions which will include a tank biathlon, “Aviadarts” - a competition for flight crews, and the “Masters of artillery fire”.

For the first time in the history of the Chinese armed forces, a brigade of Chinese marines will be transferred outside the country. “We greatly appreciate this opportunity,” said marine commander Fen Jianzhen.

The games will last for two weeks, from 3-17 August, and will be hosted in Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, India and Iran.

On Tuesday 23 July, Chinese tank troops arrived in the Moscow region. A train with Chinese military equipment, having traversed 5,000 km of railway, escorted by a joint Chinese and Russian guard, has now reached the Tamanskaya Motorized Rifle division, TASS reports, citing the Russian Defense Ministry.

Overall, the games will involve more than 6,000 soldiers from 36 countries, a new record.

“I am certain that the International Army Games will not only facilitate improved combat training, they will also serve to reinforce the friendships and mutual understanding between the soldiers,” said Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu last week.

  China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Moldova

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