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>> Russia's Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping working side by side on Tuesday, albeit to make pancakes.>>
> But at this summit in Vladivostok they're also talking about greater cooperation. Showing how the once wary Sino-Russian relationship has flipped into closer diplomatic ties. And military ones are in focus, too.
Tuesday saw the start of the biggest Russian war games since the fall of the Soviet Union. And China is also taking part. Reuters Andrew Osbourne in Moscow says this could be sending a message to Donald Trump.>> Some analysts believe that these war games send a powerful message to the United States.
Both Russia and China have increasingly strained in difficult relations with Washington, and here they are getting together putting on this huge show of force. Some believe that China really here is sending a message to Washington that, the more you pressure us on trade and other areas, the closer we will get to Moscow, including on the military sphere.
>> The military exercises, called Vostok 2018, are being held in Russia's East. With Moscow mobilizing 300,000 troops, 1,000 military aircraft, and 2 naval fleets. Some 30 Chinese aircraft and 3,000 troops are also taking part. In Vladivostok, Xi and Putin spoke on the sidelines of an economic forum. Afterwards, Xi told reporters that Moscow and Beijing should work together to oppose protectionism, and what he called unilateral approaches to international problems.
He didn't mention Washington directly, but it seemed to be a blunt reference to an escalating trade showdown with the Trump administration. Relations between Moscow and Washington are also at a low, with Putin pivoting towards China in response to the West's sanctions after the annexation of Crimea.
TO says it will be monitoring the Vostok war games.
The US which has a strong military presence in the Asia Pacific region, will also be watching, and no doubt keeping an eye on just how close Putin and Xi are getting.