Russia announced that it is about to conduct joint naval exercises with China in the East China Sea, including the content of firing live bullets.
The Russian Defense Ministry announced on December 19 that Russia and China will hold joint naval exercises from December 21-27.
The exercise, which has been held annually since 2012, will feature artillery and missile operations against targets in the East China Sea and in the air this year. In addition, the two navies will conduct a joint drill to hunt submarines
“The main purpose of the exercise is to strengthen naval cooperation between Russia and China, and to maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region,” Russia said.
Ships of Russia’s Pacific Fleet led by the Varyag missile cruiser have sailed from Vladivostok to participate in exercises with China.
In addition to the Varyag flagship, the remaining Russian ships include the corvettes Marshal Shaposhnikov, Aldar Tsydenzhapov, and Sovershenny.
The People’s Liberation Army Navy of China will send two destroyers, two patrol boats, an integrated supply ship, and a diesel submarine to participate in the drills,” the Russian Defense Ministry added.
The exercise took place in the context of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.
Since the West imposed sanctions on Russia over its military campaign in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has prioritized commercial cooperation with the BRICS, a bloc that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, as an emerging market alternative to the West.
Before the opening of the military campaign, Russia and China signed an “unlimited” strategic partnership. China remains neutral on the situation in Ukraine and calls on all sides to de-escalate tensions.