If before, China was still denying any direct support to Russia during the Ukraine-Russia war, now, they’re more open about their alliance.

Yesterday, China’s defense ministry announced that their troops will be traveling to Russia to participate in a joint military exercise called “Vostok.” The exercises will be held from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5, in the midst of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Interestingly, the Chinese defense ministry says this joint military exercise has nothing to do with the ongoing war.

“[This is] unrelated to the current international and regional situation,” the ministry said.

Soldiers of the Chinese People's Liberation Army
Soldiers of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army 1st Amphibious Mechanized Infantry Division (Source: Times Asi/Flickr)

China claimed the joint military exercise would include other countries like Tajikistan, India, Mongolia, and Belarus. This effort is reportedly part of their bilateral annual cooperation agreement with Russia.