Issued on: 15.09.2021 – 12:24Changed: 09/15/2021 – 12:23 PM
Zhumadian (China) (AFP)
China completed the country’s first multinational peace exercise on Wednesday, demonstrating the extent of its military might in a vast exercise area surrounded by mountains.
China’s defense spending is the second largest in the world after the US, and tensions between rival powers have increased dramatically as Beijing poured trillion yuan into upgrading its military.
But the country has repeatedly tried to allay fears about its military intentions and project itself as a peaceful counterpoint to what it calls Washington’s “bullying, hegemonic behavior”.
Troops from Thailand, Mongolia and Pakistan joined China’s armed forces for the 10-day exercise entitled “Shared Destiny 2021” at the military base in Queshan County in central Henan Province.
China’s defense spending is the second largest in the world after the US Jade Gao AFP
Colonel Lu Jianxin told journalists invited to the base that the exercise “demonstrated China’s support for the multilateral system with the United Nations” when Beijing tried to showcase its defense diplomacy in full.
Blue helmet soldiers took turns playing different scenarios: civilians and refugees who got into a fight, or armed militants who attacked UN troops.
Dozens of armored vehicles, bulldozers, helicopters and tanks – all with the UN logo – were mobilized for the event.
Blue helmet soldiers took turns playing different scenarios Jade Gao AFP
At the end of July, according to the UN, China was the eighth largest contributor to peacekeeping forces worldwide with 2,158 soldiers.
Chinese armed forces are mainly deployed in South Sudan, Mali, Lebanon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
During her trip to Asia last month, US Vice President Kamala Harris described China’s dispute with its neighbors over the South China Sea as undermining “the rules-based order and threat.”[ing] the sovereignty of nations “.
© 2021 AFP