Date: 20 September 2021

Peace Mission-2021: CSO Countries Involved In Joint Drills

Russia and China are taking part in yet another military drill. The Peace Mission-2021 joint anti-terrorism military exercise is centered on the threat from the Taliban. As a couple of Central Asian countries are involved in the drills, they seem to be more afraid of an Islamic Afghanistan more than they are reluctant to see China’s growing reach with tacit consent from Moscow.

SOURCE: мультимедиа.минобороны.рф

The drill named Peace Mission 2021, involving member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), is being held in Russia from September 11 to 25. This year’s edition is being hosted by Russia in the Orenburg region. The exercises involve servicemen from Russia, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. China sent to the drill site some 550 troops plus 130 vehicles and pieces of equipment from the Northern Theatre Command. The scope of the exercises encompasses the response of CSO states to such threats as terrorism, separatism, and extremist, all of which are what Central Asian countries are now facing. The drills are held each year though this year’s edition encompasses some key operational and strategic issues. The drill will help the Chinese military learn to enhance their training level in combat scenarios from more experienced partners like Russia and Pakistan. Although the war games cannot replace combat experience, they help the Chinese army make up for not participating in the war theatre since the 1979 China-Vietnam war. The exercises help China undertake joint drills to integrate military capabilities on the ground and in the air as well as for special operations, reconnaissance activities, and electronic warfare. For Beijing, the drills are an opportunity to develop its ability to respond to potential threats to foreign-made investments in low-security areas. The fact that the exercises involve Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, indicates that these four are still willing to accept China’s anti-terrorist policy despite their concern over Chinese deeds in Xinjiang, including human right abuses against Uighurs or combatting separatist groups.

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