China sends loud warning to NATO with army drills in Europe

Brest, Belarus - Chinese and Belarusian forces conducted military exercises some three miles from the Eastern European state's border with Poland.

Belarus and China have teamed up for joint military exercises close to the Polish border.
Belarus and China have teamed up for joint military exercises close to the Polish border.  © Collage: AFP/Pedro Pardo/Sergei Gapon

The 11-day run of joint military exercises is a move seen to send a warning during the same week that NATO meets for an historic summit in celebration of the block's 75th anniversary.

Belarusian military spokespersons claimed NATO was gathering forces on its borders, worsening regional tensions and requiring a "harsh reaction" in the case of infractions.

"As part of the anti-terrorist exercises, the military personnel of both countries will work out the issues of night landing, overcoming water obstacles, and conducting operations in populated areas," the Belarusian Defense Ministry said on Telegram.

China threatens "resolute measures" in furious response after Biden signs controversial Tibet bill
China China threatens "resolute measures" in furious response after Biden signs controversial Tibet bill

Training exercises have included a variety of activities, such as the simulation of both naval and urban warfare. In addition, China's Ministry of Defense has confirmed that the drills will include counter-terrorism training and hostage rescue operations.

"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," a Chinese spokesperson said in a statement.

"Through mixed-team training exercises, soldiers from both sides will jointly carry out hostage rescue operations and counter-terrorism missions."

Chinese-Belarusian drills take place during NATO 75th Anniversary Summit

NATO is in the midst of a major summit in Washington, in celebration of its 75th anniversary.
NATO is in the midst of a major summit in Washington, in celebration of its 75th anniversary.  © AFP/Roberto Schmidt

China and Belarus' close relationship with Vladimir Putin's Russia has triggered concern among NATO members as the block meets for its 75th anniversary.

Poland and Lithuania have jointly advocated for better border protection on the eastern edge of the European Union, primarily sponsored by NATO members.

Polish defense minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz warned on Wednesday of "a hybrid war ongoing on the Poland-Belarus border, as well as on the Latvian, Lithuanian, and Estonian borders."

Chinese jets circle Taiwan as intimidating military drills continue
China Chinese jets circle Taiwan as intimidating military drills continue

Issues discussed during the NATO summit have unsurprisingly centered around the conflict with Ukraine, as well as how NATO member states can counter the geopolitical influence of China and Russia in particular.

Specifically, the block has agreed to a $43 billion military aid package for Ukraine over the next 12 months, and a commitment to a path towards NATO membership.

As China staged its military drills in Belarus, NATO warned Beijing "cannot enable the largest war in Europe in recent history without this negatively impacting its interests and reputation."

Cover photo: Collage: AFP/Pedro Pardo/Sergei Gapon

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