What was Peace Mission 2005?

Introduction

Peace Mission 2005 was the first ever joint military exercise between China and Russia.

Outline

The exercise started on 19 August 2005, and consisted of combined land, sea, and air elements simulating an intervention in a state besieged by terrorists or political turmoil. It concluded on 25 August 2005.

The force practiced air and naval blockades, an amphibious assault, and occupying a region. Approximately 8,000 Chinese troops took part along with 2,000 Russian troops. China initially wanted to hold the exercise near the Taiwan Strait, Russia wanted to hold the exercise in Northwestern China near central Asia, but instead settlement was made on the Shandong Peninsula.

There are a number of reasons for the exercise, including:

  • China is the largest consumer of Russian military technology.
    • The exercise showcased Russian weapons including the Tupolev Tu-22M and Tupolev Tu-95 long range bombers.
  • The two countries are by far the most influential in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the exercise will help to strengthen military ties.
  • Both countries have stated that the exercise is not directed at any one country, but many believed to be a show of force against the United States and particularly Taiwan.

The United States was not invited to observe the exercise, but did observe using satellite reconnaissance. The stated reason for the exercise is counter-terrorism; however, many analysts agree that the use of such heavy firepower, including long-range bombers, is not necessary.

It has been recently argued that the exercise was not – as previously assumed – aimed to intimidate Taiwan but instead considered a post-Kim Jong Il regime collapse scenario.

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