- China has consistently competed in the Army Games, despite Russia (predictably) taking first place.
- According to the Russian Defense Ministry, debutantes include African nations like Niger and Rwanda.
In response to the “brutal” invasion of Ukraine, China has sent a sizable deployment of military tanks and soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to Russia to participate in the International Army Games. According to sources, despite widespread condemnation of the games played during the all-out Russian war on Ukraine, the delegation of PLA soldiers and army vehicles left Manzhouli, Inner Mongolia in China. According to Chinese official media CCTV, the squadron is on its way to the eastern Russian city of Zabaikalsk.
The infantry is set to compete in the event, which is slated to take place between August 13 and August 27, against 37 nations and regions. Participants are anticipated from Iran, India, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Armenia for the yearly competitions, which were introduced by Sergei Shoigu, the Russian Defense Minister, in 2015.
According to the South China Morning Post, the Russian military will also participate in the international military competitions, which Russia refers to as a “contest of real men.” Candidates for the various categories come from 28 different professions, ranging from chefs to athletes. There are competitions like the Tank Biathlon, in which the team must navigate five kilometres of obstacles while shooting at targets. Another episode, titled Field Kitchen, features army cooks.
Military Games to be held amid contentious geopolitical situation
This year’s Games will take place in the midst of escalating international tensions over Moscow’s “unprovoked” war in east Ukraine, which has had an impact on the West and other weaker countries. China has consistently competed in the Army Games, despite Russia (predictably) taking first place.
However, the widespread mobility of military personnel has drawn attention given the geopolitical unrest in eastern Europe and Taiwan. Western nations worry that China may be planning a similar “barbaric invasion” of Taiwan to retake the island after “learning lessons” from the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
This year, a number of new countries will participate in the military drills organised by Russia. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, debutantes include African nations like Niger and Rwanda. Venezuela, which severed ties with the US in 2019, will take part in the “war games” and even host a sniper competition.