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World: Russia to Hold Back-to-Back East and West Military Drills with China, Belarus

China Defends Military Drills Near Taiwan, Says 'External Forces' Provoked It to Do Them

  China Defends Military Drills Near Taiwan, Says 'External Forces' Provoked It to Do Them A Chinese official said the drills were provoked by "Taiwan's independence forces" and "external forces."China announced earlier this week it had carried out beach landing and assault drills in the mainland province directly opposite Taiwan. Tensions between Taiwan and the mainland have remained high.

Russia is preparing to hold the largest military exercises in decades. The drills , in which China and Mongolia will participate as well, will be of an “unprecedented” scale, the Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said. Shoigu said that the drills will be bigger than the biggest training exercise in Soviet history, held back in 1981 on the territory of Belarus , Ukraine, three Baltic republics as well as some countries of the Warsaw Pact.

Russia plans to hold military drills with China and Belarus on both ends of its eastern and western borders in the face of rising US and NATO provocations. (Photo by AP). Russia plans to hold two consecutive military drills with Chinese and Belarusian forces across its eastern and western borders involving tens of thousands of troops as the three countries feel being cornered by the US and NATO. The first maneuvers -- dubbed Zapad-Interaction, 2021 -- are due to begin Monday at the Qingtongxia Joint Tactical Training Base in northwestern China 's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region

Russia has planned two back-to-back military exercises involving tens of thousands of troops across its eastern and western borders alongside China and Belarus.

a plane flying in the air: Russian helicopters take part in military exercises at the Kapustin Yar range in Astrakhan region, southern Russia on September 25, 2020 during the © DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images Russian helicopters take part in military exercises at the Kapustin Yar range in Astrakhan region, southern Russia on September 25, 2020 during the "Caucasus-2020" military drills that gathered Armenia, Belarus, China, Iran, Pakistan and Myanmar. Russia holds strategic exercises each year involving friendly nations in addition to an annual Zapad exercise alongside Belarus.

The first exercise is called Zapad-Interaction, or West-Interaction, 2021 and was scheduled to begin Monday at the Qingtongxia Joint Tactical Training Base in northwestern China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. The combined maneuvers were announced jointly last week by the Russian and Chinese militaries, and were set to feature up to 10,000 personnel and various weaponry and equipment from both sides.

China wants the world to know it's 'not going to get pushed around' on Taiwan

  China wants the world to know it's 'not going to get pushed around' on Taiwan As countries including the U.S. deepen ties with the self-ruling island, Beijing is using military and other means to assert its territorial claims.But as Mia Hou of Taiwan took her turn, the red, white and blue Taiwanese flag — which had appeared earlier in the livestream — had disappeared. Organizers had removed the flag without warning after authorities in China, which claims the self-ruling island of Taiwan as its territory, stopped the livestream on platforms in the mainland.

Russia and China have begun holding a large-scale joint military exercise in China ’s north-central Ningxia region, drills which come as the pair spar with Washington and its Western allies over a range of issues, including human rights and regional security concerns. Richard McGregor, a China expert at the Australia-based Lowy Institute think-tank, said the burgeoning relationship between Beijing and Moscow was more than a “marriage of convenience”. “That [phrase] underestimates the depth of their shared interests, and of course the biggest one is opposing the US and undermining the US and the

The drills are being held in order to be better prepared for potential terrorist threats. Six nations, including Armenia, Belarus , Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia , and Tajikistan, are taking part in large-scale military drills in southern Tajikistan near the Afghan border. Some of the most battle-ready units, including special forces and those in charge of heavy artillery such as rocket launchers were sent to the turbulent region. The multinational military forces have been practicing action and cooperation in case of a near-border conflict for which they will need to be prepared to respond quickly, should

The official Chinese Military Online published a report Thursday detailing the preliminary training of troops from Russia's Eastern Military District who have already arrived in China to meet counterparts in the People's Liberation Army Western Theater Command.

This will be the two nations' fourth consecutive strategic exercise together and the first to be held in China.

"Taking counter-terrorism and stability maintenance as the mission scenario, the 'Zapad/Interaction2021' joint exercise will see Chinese and Russian troops jointly carrying out strikes against terrorist forces in mixed groups," the Chinese military said. "The special operations forces of both sides will complete the task of seizing the high ground and trench in accordance with the pre-plan, and then carry out the task of penetrating the enemy in depth."

How Belarus is helping ‘tourists’ break into the EU

  How Belarus is helping ‘tourists’ break into the EU Belarus is accused of taking revenge for EU sanctions by offering migrants tourist visas, and helping them across its border. The BBC has tracked one group trying to reach Germany. © BBC The mobile phone camera pans left and right, but no-one moves. The exhausted travellers lie scattered among the trees. Jamil has his head in his hands, his wife Roshin slumped forward next to him. The others look dead.Late afternoon light slants through the forest, the pine trees forming a dense natural prison. They've been walking since four in the morning.

Russia and Belarus launch a daring counter-offensive to liberate the country. All of that echoes long-standing Russian fears of Western - backed “colour revolutions” in former Soviet territories; the upheaval in Belarus lends the war games contemporary resonance. Although Russia ’s military spending is dwarfed by America’s, and lags well behind China ’s (see chart), its armed forces have undergone a dramatic transformation over the past 15 years. They have gone from a ragged and resource-starved post-Soviet outfit that performed poorly in a war against Georgia in 2008 to a leaner

From a Western perspective, they appeared potentially threatening, justifying in turn Western exercises that NATO claims are entirely for defence, but which Russia considers a threat, prompting further Russian measures. The latest round in this dangerous process is the announcement this week that NATO has developed a new ‘masterplan’ to defend against a possible Russian attack. NATO as concept rulled by Donald Trump is much more then an ally of Russia against terror in central Asia, Middle east and Africa. Isabella Jones • 35 minutes ago. Dont put ANY of the blame for this on Russia .

Beijing and Moscow have intensified their military-technical ties in recent years, and have emphasized their bond over the past month as the pair celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Sino-Russian Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation.

Today, China and Russia are closer than ever, and look to actively demonstrate that unity as they tackle international issues together, including the threat of Afghanistan's instability penetrating Central Asia as the last U.S. troops leave by the end of this month.

The Russian Armed Forces and People's Liberation Army of China will also train alongside one another next month as part of the upcoming Peace Mission 2021 exercises under the auspices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. These drills will also have a counterterrorism focus, and will include fellow SCO members India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Lukashenko Tells Doctors to Discharge Patients Quicker to Free Up Beds Amid COVID Surge

  Lukashenko Tells Doctors to Discharge Patients Quicker to Free Up Beds Amid COVID Surge "If you see that a patient is getting better and no longer needs intravenous injections and other things, just send him home," Lukashenko said."You shouldn't keep people who don't need long hospitalization for seven to 10 days," he said. "If you see that a patient is getting better and no longer needs intravenous injections and other things, just send him home.

Russia and China conducted a joint bomber patrol of the Sea of Japan and East China Sea in a strategic show of force that they insist as "not directed at any financial show “Boom Bust”, the Emmy-nominated “On Contact” with Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Chris Hedges, “America’s Lawyer” with hall-of-fame lawyer Mike Papantonio, "World According to Jesse” with former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, “The Big Picture” with Holland Cooke, satirical late-night show “Redacted Tonight” with comedian Lee Camp, daily commentary TV magazine “Watching The Hawks”, daytime show “In

That same month, Russia has big plans for other massive drills thousands of miles away in Eastern Europe.

Starting on September 10, another set of exercises called "Zapad" will take in Belarus. The drills are set to involve some 12,800 troops, mostly from Belarus, and will include 2,500 Russian units from the Western Military District and 50 from Kazakhstan's contribution to the Collective Rapid Reaction Force of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, an alliance that includes all three countries.

"The Zapad-2021 joint strategic drills are a defensive exercise that reaffirms the course of the Republic of Belarus towards strengthening regional security and the commitment to allied obligations with the Russian Federation," Chief of the Belarusian General Staff and First Deputy Defense Minister Viktor Gulevich said during a briefing Thursday.

The exercises come amid intensified Western criticism of longtime Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, whose opposition has contested its 2019 election and sought international support. Moscow has vowed to support Minsk in the event that unrest should threaten their Union State.

Why Russian and Chinese warships teaming up to circle Japan is a big deal

  Why Russian and Chinese warships teaming up to circle Japan is a big deal A joint Chinese and Russian naval exercise, in which a flotilla of 10 warships completed a near circle around Japan's main island, has been touted by the two countries as a means of ensuring stability in a volatile region. © Sun Zifa/China News Service/Getty Images The warship formations of China and Russia sail through the Tsugaru Strait in northern Japan on October 18. But analysts say the drills are likely to have the opposite effect, potentially reigniting regional tensions and enhancing claims by the Japanese government that it needs to increase military spending to counter Chinese aggression.

Their joint exercises next month will be "based on the scenario of the emergence of a crisis situation of growth and the emergence of conflict related to the growing activity of illegal armed groups, separatist and international terrorist organizations with external support."

The emergence of unrest in Afghanistan has Moscow doubling down on its Central Military District commitments to partners in Central Asia. New headaches have manifested for the Southern Military District over renewed fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Caucasus, and the expansion of the United States' military might in Europe and the Asia-Pacific has presented broader strategic concerns for Russia.

Those concerns are only exacerbated by a worsening state of relations between Moscow and the West, especially since the 2014 political unrest in Ukraine that saw Russia intervene directly to secure interests in Crimea. Russia later annexed Crimea from Ukraine after a referendum disputed by the U.S. and European allies, who also accuse Moscow of sponsoring a separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

The fallout led to a bolstering of the U.S.-led NATO military alliance, a Cold War-era mutual defense pact that has expanded east incorporating former Soviet republics over the past three decades since the collapse of the USSR. Both Ukraine and Georgia, another ex-Soviet country that has turned to the West amid fears of Russian aggression, have sought to join NATO.

Threats from Russia, Belarus Prompt Poland to Increase Defense Spending With New Bill

  Threats from Russia, Belarus Prompt Poland to Increase Defense Spending With New Bill "If we want to avoid the worst, that is war, we have to act according to the old rule: 'If you want peace, prepare for war,'" Jaroslaw Kaczynski said.Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the deputy prime minister considered to be the most powerful politician in the country, said that the proposed spending increase will help "defend the fatherland" and strengthen the military while Poland's borders are met with an incursion of migrants from Belarus.

That leaves Belarus as the sole Russian ally on the Western front, where the Lukashenko administration has accused nearby NATO members Latvia and Poland, along with the U.S., of orchestrating a plot to stir unrest.

"According to our assessments, the main role belongs to the U.S., who seeks to solve their geopolitical interests this way," Ivan Tertel, chairman of the Belarusian State Security Committee, or KGB, said in a 44-minute segment of the "Belarus against the Color Revolution" documentary aired Wednesday by the state-run Belteleradio broadcaster.

"If we talk about the neighboring states, then Vilnius and Warsaw carry out the most aggressive policy towards the Republic of Belarus," Tertel added. "We also see an unconstructive role, despite our brotherly relations with the Ukrainian people, with the current leadership of Ukraine."

Tensions were heightened last month when President Joe Biden and top U.S. officials received Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Lukashenko's top challenger, in Washington. The White House issued a warning to the Belarusian president following Tsikhanouskaya's meeting with national security adviser Jake Sullivan.

"Mr. Sullivan conveyed American support for the people of Belarus and respect for the courage and determination of the opposition, including Mrs. Tsikhanouskaya, in the struggle for democracy and human rights," according to a readout. "The United States, together with partners and allies, will continue to hold the Lukashenka regime accountable for its actions, including through the imposition of sanctions."

U.S. Says It Will Not Be Deterred as Belarus Forces Closure of Humanitarian Office

  U.S. Says It Will Not Be Deterred as Belarus Forces Closure of Humanitarian Office The move comes as Belarusian authorities face criticism for what's been called an excessive crackdown on protests over the country's 2020 presidential election.The U.S. and and its allies have spoken out against the crackdown, and Samantha Power, the U.S. Agency for International Development administrator, said the closure of the humanitarian offices showed the authorities' "callous disregard of the interests of the Belarusian people.

Back in Belarus, Lukashenko warned he may seek direct Russian military support should such provocations continue.

"If it is necessary for the security of the Union State that we are building, for the security of Belarus and Russia to deploy here all the armed forces with all types of weapons, they will be deployed here immediately," Lukashenko said during a meeting last Friday, noting that "there is no need" at present for such a request.

The Russian Foreign Ministry also criticized Biden's decision to meet with Tsikhanouskaya at the time, with spokesperson Maria Zakharova accusing the U.S. of having "a habit of unceremoniously interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign states, including supporting non-systemic opposition."

a person wearing a military uniform: Russian military police stand guard near the national flags of Russia and Belarus at the Asipovichy military training ground during the Zapad 2017 military exercises on September 18, 2017 in in Asipovichy, Belarus. Such exercises have been accompanied by Western concerns that Russian remain in Belarus despite assurances to the contrary. Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images © Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images Russian military police stand guard near the national flags of Russia and Belarus at the Asipovichy military training ground during the Zapad 2017 military exercises on September 18, 2017 in in Asipovichy, Belarus. Such exercises have been accompanied by Western concerns that Russian remain in Belarus despite assurances to the contrary. Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

Given the frictions with the West, much of Russia's concerns revolve around its European borders, and an increasing eastward focus by the U.S. and NATO has prompted Moscow to once again pay attention to its Pacific frontier.

Russia has never signed a World War II peace treaty with its Japanese neighbor, but the two maintain friendly relations. Still, Washington's decision to sell Tokyo advanced anti-missile capabilities has compounded existing fears over such U.S. weapons already deployed among other U.S. allies in Eastern Europe.

The result has been a race for new, state-of-the-art Russian capabilities to thwart what the Kremlin views as a global missile shield being erected along Russia's borders.

'Ordinary people suffer most': China farms face climate woes

  'Ordinary people suffer most': China farms face climate woes JIAOZUO, China (AP) — Wang Yuetang’s sneakers sink into the mud of what was once his thriving corn and peanut farm as he surveys the damage done by an unstable climate. Three months after torrential rains flooded much of central China’s Henan province, stretches of the country’s flat agricultural heartland are still submerged in several inches of water. It’s one of the many calamities around the world that are giving urgency to the U.N. climate summit underway in Glasgow, Scotland. ”There is nothing this year. It’s all gone,” Wang said. “Farmers on the lowland basically have no harvest, nothing.

"We have been confronted with certain steps by the United States and NATO that have actually impaired the existing parity: this relates to creating ballistic missile defense positioning areas, deploying interceptor missile systems in Romania and other countries in the close vicinity to our borders," Russian presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said last month, according to the state-run Tass Russian News Agency.

Moscow contends such defense systems could also be used to attack.

"These are the systems that can also launch strike missiles," Peskov said at the time. "That is, all these steps have been taken to dismantle the exiting parity. This has required measures to ensure Russia's security and guarantee the continuation of the existing parity. This is what has been done."

Such developments, accompanied by a deterioration in diplomatic relations with Washington, have prompted Moscow to fortify its strategic partnership with Beijing. The two top U.S. rivals today tout better bilateral relations than ever before, including expanding ties in the political, economic and defense sectors.

This relationship and the uptick in joint exercises held by China and Russia were noted in NATO's latest joint communique adopted in June amid Biden's first international trip as president.

The document warned that "Russia's aggressive actions constitute a threat to Euro-Atlantic security" and that "China's growing influence and international policies can present challenges that we need to address together as an Alliance."

China's rapid ascendence on the world stage has prompted many in Washington to prioritize this theater over the longstanding concerns with regards to Russia.

Biden appeared to share this view in remarks last week as he described his views of both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The U.S. leader said Putin "has a real problem, he's sitting on top of an economy that has nuclear weapons and oil wells and nothing else," something that "makes him even more dangerous, in my view."

As for Xi, whom Biden said he has spent more time with than any other world leader during his time as vice president, the Chinese leader "is deadly earnest about becoming the most powerful military force in the world, as well as the largest, the most prominent economy in the world by the mid-40s, the 2040s."

In Moscow, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Aleksandr Bikantov took the remarks as a sign of desperation "based on an erroneous and distorted message."

"The objective reality, which many in Washington do not want to see, testifies to the opposite," Bikantov told reporters Thursday. "America's comfortable hegemony is becoming a thing of the past amid the strengthening of the geopolitical positions of Russia and China."

a truck driving down a dirt road: Russian, Chinese and Mongolian troops and military equipment parade at the end of the day of the Vostok-2018 (East-2018) military drills at Tsugol training ground near the Siberian border with China and Mongolia on September 13, 2018. MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images © MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images Russian, Chinese and Mongolian troops and military equipment parade at the end of the day of the Vostok-2018 (East-2018) military drills at Tsugol training ground near the Siberian border with China and Mongolia on September 13, 2018. MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images

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'Ordinary people suffer most': China farms face climate woes .
JIAOZUO, China (AP) — Wang Yuetang’s sneakers sink into the mud of what was once his thriving corn and peanut farm as he surveys the damage done by an unstable climate. Three months after torrential rains flooded much of central China’s Henan province, stretches of the country’s flat agricultural heartland are still submerged in several inches of water. It’s one of the many calamities around the world that are giving urgency to the U.N. climate summit underway in Glasgow, Scotland. ”There is nothing this year. It’s all gone,” Wang said. “Farmers on the lowland basically have no harvest, nothing.

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