Over 10,000 Russian and Chinese troops are currently poised to launch a big joint exercise in the vast and largely arid plains of China's Ningxia region, adjacent to the Yellow River.
The move comes as both countries face a deteriorating relationship with the United States, a fact which both sides appear eager to underline: As Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian put it last week, the military manoeuvres aim "to consolidate and develop a comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between China and Russia".
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