Chinese soldiers trained with swords in the snow near the country's border with Russia

Chinese soldiers are taking part in sub-zero training near the country’s frozen northern border by Russia.

The soldiers were undergoing extreme winter training in Heihe, Heilongjiang. The training took place in temperatures as low as negative 4 degrees Farenheit. To emphasise discipline and endurance, the Chinese soldiers carried out the exercises shirtless in marked similarity to the widely publicized winter exercises conducted by South Korea’s special forces.

The Chinese exercises, conducted at the end of the February, come as China increases its military budget by 10%. Beijing announced in January that it will focus its military training upon winning “local wars,” according to the AFP.

The military exercises took place along the Chinese-Russian border.

China soldier winter training snowREUTERS/StringerSoldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) practice with swords as they take part in a winter training in temperatures below minus 10 degrees Celsius at China’s border with Russia in Heihe, Heilongjiang province, February 27, 2015.

During the training, the soldiers conducted exercises with traditional Chinese swords to work on dexterity.

The sabre training was intended to increase the soldiers’ general combat capabilities.

China winter training soldierChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty ImagesThe sabreplay training in northeast China’s Heilongjiang province is to cultivate frontier soldiers’ practical combat ability in battlefield rather than performance courses.

The soldiers also threw snow and freezing water onto each other, probably to help build endurance to the cold.

Temperatures can dip to as low as -50 degrees Farenheit in Heihe.

The shirtless training in the slightly warmer weather is meant to inure the soldiers to the chill while instilling mental and physical toughness.

China soldier winter training snowREUTERS/China DailySoldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) take part in a winter training in temperatures below minus 10 degrees Celsius at China’s border with Russia in Heihe, Heilongjiang province, February 26, 2015.

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