Russia, China launch joint missile defense exercise

The Russia and Chinese militaries have launched a joint missile defense computer-simulated command post exercise in Beijing.

The drill, dubbed Airspace Security 2017, is the second such exercise held by the two countries and is expected to conclude on December 16.

The Russo-Chinese exercise coincides with a similar drill being held by the United States, the Republic of Korea (ROK), and Japan.

The goal of the Airspace Security 2017 exercise is to bolster cooperation and performance between Moscow and Beijing in the realm of ballistic missile defense.

The drills are “a pragmatic gesture of important mutual understanding in terms of bolstering Russian-Chinese cooperation in air defense reached by the two countries’ leaders,” the Chinese MoD statement said.

“China and Russia oppose the development of a global anti-missile system and the cooperation on the anti-missile field would help protect both countries’ security as well as the regional strategic balance,” according to the Chinese MoD. The exercise contributes to both countries’ security as well as the regional strategic balance, the MoD adds.

Last year’s exercise took place in May 2016 in Moscow.

The two countries have a strategic partnership but not a formal military alliance, which some analysts say makes it more difficult for them to conduct sophisticated joint operations in times of crisis. [source]

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Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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