Russia, China to hold joint naval drills in a bid to ‘strengthen cooperation’

Russia will be conducting joint drills along with the Chinese navy in the East China Sea. The Russian defence ministry announced on Monday that the naval drills will be held between December 21 and 27. 

While Russia will be sending the flagship of the Pacific Fleet along with other vessels from different classes, China is expected to send two destroyers for the drill. The Chinese government may send other smaller vessels but no confirmation has been provided till now. Along with the ships, both countries will also take part in joint anti-submarine warfare and training for missile launches during the drills. 

The Russian government also said that the drills are a way to “strengthen cooperation between the two navies to maintain peace and stability in the Asian Pacific region”. The air forces of the two countries conducted a joint aerial patrol over the Sea of Japan and the East China sea recently. 

Both Russia and China have expressed their concerns about United States’ growing presence in the region and this drill is being viewed as a joint show of power. While China has condemned the US for interfering in the Taiwan issue, Russia has been fuming over US’ growing relationship with Ukraine. 

WATCH | Vladimir Putin heads for Belarus ahead of Russian drills

Earlier this year, China sent more than 2000 troops and 300 military vehicles to take part in a joint exercise with Russia. It was the first time that China had sent such a massive delegation for a drill and later, they also included 21 combat aircraft and three warships in the exercise to show their goodwill. 

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