Military Map for Russia and China
Military cooperation between Russia and China has long gone beyond the framework of ordinary partnership, which, by the way, existed at a fairly high level and with the North Atlantic alliance before the Ukrainian crisis.
The interaction between Moscow and Beijing in the military field has now reached such a high level that it is necessary to change its official format.
The recent meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping within the framework of the international forum One Belt, One Road has given a powerful impetus to this work.
That is why the Russian Defense Minister, Army General Sergei Shoigu, at a meeting of heads of defense departments of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states in Astana, offered China to sign a "road map" for the development of military cooperation between the two countries for 2017-2020. The main goal of this Russian initiative is joint efforts with China to protect peace and strengthen international security.
This issue will require joint refinement. But the Chinese Defense Minister, Colonel-General Chiang Wanquan, in turn, said that the level of trust between the two countries' armies has "continuously increased" in recent years.
In 2017, a number of large-scale joint measures on the military line are planned. The Chinese defense minister described them as "huge and important." Obviously, we are talking about joint maneuvers and antiterrorist exercises within the SCO. In particular, the international antiterrorist exercise "Peace Mission-2018" will be held on Russian territory in September. Representatives of India and Pakistan - rival countries - were invited to participate in these maneuvers. Registration of membership of India and Pakistan in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will be completed in two days.
The replenishment and strengthening of the SCO ranks is all the more important, since the situation in the main "hot spot" of the Central and South Asia region - in Afghanistan - is steadily deteriorating, the military operation of the international forces led by the US and NATO did not contribute to the pacification of the conflict.
Russian Defense Minister Shoigu noted that groups of the Islamic state are active in the territory of Afghanistan, their numbers have already reached three and a half thousand people.
The strategy of creating an Islamic caliphate, implemented by this group, threatens the security of both Afghanistan and its neighboring countries, many of which are members of the SCO.