By You Xi, Yang Xiaobo
YINCHUAN, August 2 -- The exercise ZAPAD/INTERACTION-2021 will be held from August 9 to 13 at the combined-arms tactical training base of the PLA Army in Qingtongxia City of West China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. On the morning of July 31, representatives of Chinese participating troops held a warm welcome ceremony for the Russian participating troops.
At the ceremony, Lieutenant General Liu Xiaowu, deputy commander of the PLA Western Theater Command and commanding officer of the Chinese participating troops, presented flowers to the Russian representatives. He remarked that in the context of the big changes and pandemic, this is the first joint strategic exercise participated by Russian troops in China. It also marks the fourth consecutive year that the Chinese and Russian militaries organize joint strategic exercises.
His Russian counterpart, deputy commander of the Russian Eastern Military District, said that China, Russia and even the whole world are facing many new challenges and it is necessary for friendly countries to jointly combat international terrorism.
Both sides have agreed that the exercise fully reflects the high level of friendly and cooperative relations between the two militaries, as well as the great responsibility to jointly maintain regional peace and security.
In the following joint exercise, the two sides will fully exchange operational experience. The Russian troops have completed quarantine and observation and will soon attend the pre-exercise training.
The Chinese participating troops mainly come from China's PLA Western Theater Command and Russia's Eastern Military District. A total of more than 10,000 members will be dispatched, along with multiple types of aircraft, artillery and armored equipment. They will set up a joint command, make plans and conduct training in mixed combat groups, so as to improve the joint anti-terrorism capabilities of the troops.