BEIJING, China – As the Russian-Ukrainian war draws the world’s attention, China is conducting military exercises on its far northeastern border, according to reports, raising fears among experts that Beijing is considering a push into Russian territory.
Anthony Klan, writing in an Australian investigative newspaper The Klaxon, said he obtained footage and details of the Chinese air force and military conducting covert drills in Russian border areas along the Ussuri River, near the sparsely populated regions of Khabarovsk and Ussuriysk, in February and March this year.
The military drills involve Chinese Air Force fighter jets and bombers, including live-fire drills, from its northeast Harbin air base, and China’s 78th Army Group performing tactical tank and armored vehicle exercises, such as Printing paid off.
Considering that the only border China shares in the region is with Russia, the military activities are considered unusual, despite public support for Russia’s Feb. 24 military operation in Ukraine, according to Klan.
“Beijing secretly started its air force and armored unit drills from February, near Russian borders, in the name of routine drills,” a senior intelligence source said, quoted by The Print.
Intelligence sources said China‘s military activities along the Ussuri River had gone unnoticed, with the global spotlight on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s moves through the Strait of Taiwan, The Klaxon reported.
China has publicly expressed support for Russia, but experts note that Beijing has territorial disputes with nearly all of its neighbors, making a lead on Russia far from out of the question.
“China seems to be far too prepared for the ongoing war situation,” a security expert said. “Russia’s Far Eastern territory, including the Khabarovsk and Ussuriysk regions, is already remote and the Russians barely have enough military presence to secure these areas, especially if China tries to venture in.”
Sino-Russian relations, also known as Sino-Russian relations, refers to the international relations between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation. Diplomatic relations between China and Russia improved after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and creation of the Russian Federation in 1991.
With a history of tension in the region, China in March 1969 surprised Moscow by ambushing the remote island of Damansky in a bloody attack that killed at least 31 Soviet border guards, bringing the two powers to the edge of total war.
The small island, known as Damansky in Russian and Zhenbao Dao in Chinese, sits in the middle of the Ussuri River, which itself marks the Sino-Russian border in the Far East.
The deadly ambush remains a sore point for many Russians. Any move by China into Russian territory would send shockwaves around the world, as Klan explained.