China’s participation in Russia’s largest military exercise since the cold war was a “political and strategic” success, the People’s Liberation Army said on Monday, as Moscow announced it would hold similarly large-scale drills every five years.

The Northern Theatre Command, the Chinese military region that borders Russia, said in an online statement that Vostok 2018 showed the “determination to cooperate” of the troops taking part and that Chinese officers had been “toughened up for battle”.

The command will build on the “experience of decision making, coordination and joint action” gained during the exercise and continue to “boost the troops’ overseas combat capabilities and readiness”, it said on its official social media account.

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