China and Russia have begun eight days of joint military exercises. This is the first time Russian armed forces have been inside an independent China (Russia occupied parts of northern China in the 19th century). Russian troops that defeated Japanese forces at the end of World War II, were quickly withdrawn. China and Russia are not happy with the way so many of their former allies or client states are forming alliances with the United States. These joint exercises are a form of protest. On a more practical level, the exercises are an opportunity for the Russians to show off a lot of their military equipment to the Chinese. At the moment, China is the biggest customer for Russian arms exports.