BEIJING, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- More than 80 heavy Chinese armored vehicles rolled into the Urals Mountains of Russia to take part in joint military maneuvers, the Chinese government said.
Joint military drills, dubbed Peace Mission 2013, began July 27 and run through Aug. 15. China's official Xinhua News Agency reports 88 heavy combat vehicles were transported more than 3,000 miles by rail to take part in the drills in the Ural Mountains.
The war games are divided into troop deployment, battle planning and simulated combat maneuvers. The Russian side praised China's efficiency during the strategic deployment phase, the official news agency reported Monday.
"The second phase will focus on issues such as coordinating campaign intention, making decisions, preparing plans and organizing coordination, which will lay the foundation for the third phase," Chinese military director Shi Xiangyuan was quoted as saying.
Russian defense officials said the drills are meant to ensure combat readiness to protect the Asia-Pacific region.
The U.S. military last year began shifting its assets to the area as part of the strategic realignment that followed the end of combat operations in Iraq.