China, Russia launch military maneuvers amid Afghan crisis
Beijing, Aug 10 (EFE).- China and Russia launched joint military exercises Monday as the countries face security challenges following the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, according to official media.
The exercises will continue until Friday in the northern Chinese region of Ningxia with the presence, on the Chinese side, of J-20 fighters, H-6K bombers and Y-20 military transport aircraft, among others.
Also present will be the HQ-17 defense missiles, presented to the public for the first time in October 2019 and capable of shooting down “all kinds of aerial threats” that enter its defensive perimeter, including stealth fighter jets, helicopters, fighter jets. unmanned and cruise missiles.
They are also the first joint maneuvers China has hosted since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. China’s Defence Ministry said its objective is “to expand the anti-terrorism efforts of the two countries” and “demonstrate the firm determination and capacity of both parties to jointly safeguard international and regional peace and security.”
Chinese experts told the Global Times newspaper that the exercises seek greater military cooperation in a “difficult” security context given the situation in Afghanistan, where the advance of the Taliban has staggered the country after decades of conflict.
In the last week, insurgents managed to capture six provincial capitals while the final phase of the withdrawal of United States and NATO troops continued, which Chinese media criticized.
“The irresponsible withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan is a burden on neighboring Central Asian countries. As great powers, China and Russia have a role to play, which is to ensure peace and stability and to prevent the advance of terrorist forces. in the region,” an expert told the Global Times.
In late July, a delegation from the Taliban led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar visited China, where he met with the country’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, amid the insurgent offensive.
Beijing seeks to avoid being affected by hostilities, and received a Taliban delegation in 2019. According to Wang, the “hasty” withdrawal from Afghanistan reflects “the failure of US policy” towards that nation, but which in turn represents an “important opportunity for the Afghan people to stabilize and develop their country.”
China and Afghanistan share some 60 kilometers of border in the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang, a region mainly of Uighur ethnic groups in which attacks of different kinds, including terrorist attacks, have been registered in recent decades. EFE