Russian and Chinese armed forces have concluded a large-scale strategic exercise with a closing ceremony at the Qingtongxia training ground in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region of China.

The joint military drill, called Sibu/Interaction 2021, was designed to improve military cooperation between the two forces and demonstrate their capabilities to fight terrorism.

Overall, around 10,000 troops participated in Sibu/Interaction 2021.

The Russian side was represented by units of one of the formations of the Eastern Military District. The contingent included Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter aircraft, motorised rifle units and air defence forces.

In a statement, the Russian Ministry of Defence said: “In the course of the operation, the joint grouping of troops practised a number of tactical tasks to inflict losses on a mock enemy with combined fire from small arms, combat vehicles and tanks.

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“To carry out tasks in the rear of the mock enemy to capture important objects and create conditions for further actions of the coalition grouping units, subunits and military equipment were parachuted from helicopters and aircraft in various ways.”

Russia and China have conducted joint military drills in various formats since 2005. These include multilateral exercises, joint exercises and training of the anti-missile defence forces.

However, this is the first time that an exercise of this scale was held in the north-central part of China.

Earlier this month, Russian army personnel carried out a joint anti-terrorist exercise with Indian troops at the Prudboy training ground in the Volgograd Region in south Russia. The drill involved eliminating mock terrorists in a village.