China Parades Closer Ties in Moscow – China Real Time Report – WSJ

When a Chinese honor guard joins a military parade in Russia’s capital this weekend, watched by China’s President Xi Jinping, it will mark more than just a symbolic recognition of the two countries’ contributions to the Allied victory in 1945. As the WSJ’s Jeremy Page reports:

China’s participation also reflects an upgrade of its military ties with Russia, including joint naval exercises and a revival of arms purchases, that could complicate U.S.-led efforts to counter both nations’ expanding military activities, analysts and diplomats say.

The 102 Chinese troops who will join the Victory Day parade in Moscow on Saturday were seen during a rehearsal this week marching through streets near Red Square singing the Russian wartime ballad “Katyusha”, according to video footage posted online.

The only other foreign countries with troops in the parade are India, Mongolia, Serbia and six former Soviet states.

Three Chinese navy ships also made a rare foray into the Black Sea on their way to join commemorations in Russia’s southern port of Novorossiysk on Saturday.

The Chinese ships—two missile destroyers and a supply vessel — will then take part in joint exercises with the Russian navy in the Mediterranean Sea for the first time, according to Chinese and Russian authorities.

Both sides say the drills aren’t directed at other countries, but the timing, after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, and the location, on NATO’s southern flank, have compounded Western concerns about an emerging Moscow-Beijing axis.

via China Parades Closer Ties in Moscow – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

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