On August 31, 2022, Alghad TV (UAE/Egypt) aired a report about Russia’s Vostok 2022 military exercise, in which forces from 13 countries, including China, participated. The report said that while Russia claims the exercises are defensive in nature, their timing suggests otherwise, since they are taking place amid tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine and between the U.S. and China over Taiwan. The reporter elaborated that this also coincides with the recent emphasis placed by Russia and China on establishing a “multipolar” world order, and he said that the exercises demonstrate the close military cooperation between Beijing and Moscow. The report also noted that one of the theaters in which the exercises took place is in the Kuril Islands, which are the subject of a territorial dispute between Russia and Japan.
Narrator: “More than 50,000 soldiers and about 5,000 pieces of military equipment — including 140 planes and 60 naval vessels — were sent by Russia to the Vostok 2022 military exercises, in which 13 countries, including China, are participating. Moscow described the Vostok 2022 military exercises as defensive, and said that the purpose was to improve the capabilities of the armed forces in order to guarantee the security of Russia and its allies in the East, and that they are not aimed against any specific country or military alliance.
“The timing of the Vostok 2022 exercises — in which China participated — and their concurrence with tensions between Moscow and Beijing on one side and Washington on the other side as a result of the Ukrainian crisis and the Taiwan issue cast some doubt as to the real aim of the Vostok 2022 military exercises.”
Reporter: “Although the Russian Ministry of Defense stressed that the Vostok 2022 military exercises are defensive in nature and are not aimed against any party, under the current circumstances, exercises of this sort contain some implied messages. Experts agree that [these messages] are aimed at Washington and at NATO.”
Narrator: “China’s participation in the Vostok 2022 exercises reflects one aspect of the tight cooperation between Moscow and Beijing which evolved recently in light of geopolitical changes — namely the insistence of Russia and China on a multipolar world that will guarantee everybody’s interests.
“The Vostok 2022 military exercises — conducted in seven different theaters, including the Kuril islands, a subject of dispute between Moscow and Tokyo, raised fears in Japan, which demanded from Russia that the four northern islands be excluded from the military exercises. Russia replied that it is conducting military exercises on its own soil, that these exercises are defensive in nature, and they are not aimed against any party.”