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China sends troops and tanks to Russia

Chinese troops are on their way to Russia for Moscow’s first International Army Games since it declared war on Ukraine

The delegation of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army includes personnel, military tanks and vehicles according to state broadcaster CCTV.

It said they left Manzhouli, Inner Mongolia recently on a train bound for Zabaikalsk in Russia’s far east ahead of next month’s competition.

Chinese troops with a flag
Chinese troops, military tanks and vehicles are on their way to Russia for the International Army Games due to take place next month. Source: AAP

Bringing together the militaries of dozens of countries

Representatives from almost 40 countries and regions are expected to take part in the games, which first took place in 2015.

Dubbed the War Olympics, the event is organised by Russia’s defence ministry and designed to sharpen combat skills.

It also features a 50 kilometre march through the snow.

This year’s games will be held across a dozen countries including Russia, Iran, India, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Armenia.

A tank takes part in an exercise
37 countries and regions are expected to take part in the games which will be held across a dozen countries. Source: AAP

Venezuela will also play host to the sniper competition in what will be the first time the Russian-led exercise has been staged in the western hemisphere

The decision is being touted as a strategic move for China, Russia, Iran and Venezuela to "preposition forward-deployed military assets in Latin America and the Caribbean” according to a report from the Centre for a Secure Free Society.

While Niger and Rwanda are set to debut at the August games, becoming the first African countries to take part.

A tank takes part in an exercise
The games are often referred to as the War Olympics. Source: AAP

Chinese and Russian relations

Since 2005, China and Russia have ramped up joint military exercises, especially in the last few years, through both bilateral and multilateral platforms.

While this has raised suspicion from the West, the Japanese defence military said on Friday that deepening ties between the two countries “will have a direct effect on the security situation surrounding” Japan.

As part of the games, China, which has been a regular participant since 2015, will host three competitions including an infantry fighting vehicles game and a frigate race.

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