China’s military forces continue to be involved in joint exercises throughout Asia to improve its state of readiness and to boost friendship, exchanges and cooperation between nations, Global Times reported.

Chinese and Pakistani air forces wrapped up the half-month-long Shaheen VIII joint exercises in northwestern China on Friday, during which systematic mock battles were conducted for the first time.

Multiple types of warplanes, surface-to-air missiles and radar installations from the two air forces took part in the mock battles, according to a statement released by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force.

The red team was from China’s air force, and the blue team was a combination of Chinese and Pakistani troops, China Central Television (CCTV) reported.

About 50 warplanes, including fighter jets and early warning aircraft took part in the mock battles consisting of seizing air superiority and ground attack, the PLA Air Force statement said.

This marked an unprecedented joint exercise between China and a foreign country with the most number of personnel, types of weapons and combat units involved.

During the exercises, pilots from both countries also boarded each other’s warplanes and discussed combat techniques, CCTV reported.

Chinese warplanes including J-10, J-11, J-16, Su-30 fighter jets, JH-7 fighter bombers and KJ-500 early warning aircraft were seen in the CCTV report.

The Shaheen series joint exercises started as a one-on-one dogfight, but now it has evolved into systematic mock battles featuring more warplanes, multiple military branches which include ground forces that deploy missiles and electronic countermeasures, Xin Xin, commander of the red team air formation, told CCTV.

China has dispatched JH-7A fighter bombers to strategic war games in Russia. Handout.

And on Saturday, Russia held a grand welcoming ceremony upon the arrival of Chinese armed forces, including well-anticipated Type 96A tanks and H-6K bombers, for the upcoming Tsentr-2019 (Center-2019) strategic drills.

China dispatched more than 1,600 troops from the Western Theater Command and some other units of the PLA, together with main battle equipment including Type 96A tanks, H-6K bombers, JH-7A fighter bombers, J-11 fighter jets, Il-76 and Y-9 transport planes and Z-10 attack helicopters, CCTV reported.

“The drills will further enhance and deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era between China and Russia. It also has significant meaning on boosting our military’s capability to deal with all kinds of security threats together with other countries’ militaries,” Ma Qixian, commander of the participating Chinese forces, told CCTV.

The drills will be held from September 16 to 21 in the Orenburg region of Russia. China, Pakistan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will participate, the Russian TASS news agency reported, citing a statement released by the Russian Defense Ministry.

Meanwhile, the PLA  recently conducted a joint land assault exercise featuring multiple military branches near the island of Taiwan, which military experts said shows the Chinese military is ready to unleash its full potential against its enemies and send a stern warning to countries that intervene in China’s internal affairs.

The 74th Group Army of the PLA recently held a joint land assault exercise off the eastern coast of South China’s Guangdong Province, with the navy and air force joining the simulated attack, CCTV reported.

Led by the navy’s amphibious assault ships, with additional air support, a combined arms brigade of the army launched a joint assault on a coastal area.

“We upgraded our system so that battlefield data can be shared in real time. Intelligence gathered by the navy, air force and ourselves on the battlefield can be reported to the command center, and shared between basic units,” Liu Shuyi, staff officer of the combined arms brigade, told CCTV.

Although the report did not identify an imaginary enemy for the exercises, Chinese internet users noted the location of the exercises was close to the island of Taiwan.