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China holding military exercises just hundreds of miles from US base in Europe

by

Daily Caller News Foundation

China’s military is getting ready to conduct drills near a massive U.S. Army base in Europe this month, according to multiple reports.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will conduct joint military training operations in Belarus in mid-July, Chinese-state media reported on Sunday. The region in Belarus where the PLA is conducting drills sits directly on the border of Poland and is less than 300 miles away from a U.S. Army garrison in Poland, a country hosting nearly 10,000 U.S. troops.

The joint drills will focus on “counter-terrorism operations,” Chinese state media reported. Chinese and Belarusian forces will conduct mixed-team and “hostage rescue” drills.

Belarus fell under sanctions from the West for its support of Russia in the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, according to The Diplomat. China has further embraced several sanctioned nations as a result, including Belarus; Beijing upgraded relations with Belarus to an “all-weather comprehensive partnership” in 2023.

“The training aims to enhance the training levels and coordination capabilities of the participating troops, as well as deepen practical cooperation between the armies of the two countries,” Chinese state media reported. State media outlets are not independent and are widely viewed by the West as the propaganda arm of the relevant country’s government.

The U.S. has a variety of forces located at bases and installations across Poland, but the Army garrison in Poznan is the first of its kind, according to The Associated Press. In addition to the U.S.’ own operational goals in the region, the garrison strengthens NATO’s capabilities in Poland, which is itself a NATO country.

“NATO routinely tracks all military maneuvers near its borders. The China/Belarus exercise near Poland illustrates the growing relationship between authoritarian powers,” a NATO official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Politico EU. “We remain vigilant.”

The state reports of the Chinese military drills come alongside the annual NATO summit in Washington, D.C. this week. NATO leadership has recently warned that the alliance needs to focus more on the threat posed by China and the country’s increasing relationship with other Western adversaries, including Russia.

Russia and China have dramatically strengthened their relationship since Russia was cut off by the West for invading Ukraine in 2022. China maintains that it has not provided any military support to Russia, although some Chinese equipment and technology have been found on the battlefield.

“They all want NATO, the United States, to fail,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told CBS on Sunday, referring to Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. If Putin wins in Ukraine, it will not only embolden President Putin [but] it also embolden President Xi, as the Japanese Prime Minister said, what happens in Ukraine today can happen in Asia tomorrow.”

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation