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International relations

'War Olympics' bring China and Russia closer as US tensions mount

Drills give untested PLA troops 'valuable' lessons from conflicts like Syria

Chinese soldiers take part in last year's International Army Games on Russia's Baltic Sea coast.   © Reuters

MOSCOW -- China and Russia are holding their first joint military exercises since the coronavirus pandemic began -- competitive drills experts say will help both sides fill capability gaps while also preparing their forces for a day when they might fight alongside one another.

A contingent of about 260 Chinese troops is participating in this year's International Army Games, an annual tournament organized by the Russian Defense Ministry. Launched in 2015, the games are nicknamed the "War Olympics" for their fusion of traditional military drills with sports-like competitions.

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