China and Russia set to hold naval drills

2019-04-26 03:23:42 GMT2019-04-26 11:23:42(Beijing Time) Xinhua English
Russian sailors stand on the deck of the Russian frigate Admiral Gorshkov as it docks at a port in Qingdao in eastern China's Shandong Province. on April 21, 2019. Russian sailors stand on the deck of the Russian frigate Admiral Gorshkov as it docks at a port in Qingdao in eastern China's Shandong Province. on April 21, 2019.

China said yesterday that it will hold joint naval drills with Russia next week.

The “Joint Sea 2019” drills will be held off the northern port city of Qingdao, Defense Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang said at a monthly briefing. Taking place from Monday to Saturday, they will feature ships and submarines along with fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and marine units.

Ren described the drills as “joint maritime defensive operations” aimed at “strengthening the two navies’ capability to commonly address maritime security threats.”

“The exercise does not target any third parties,” Ren said.

Last September, about 3,200 Chinese troops joined Russia’s largest-ever war games in Siberia, in which nearly 300,000 Russian troops conducted drills.

China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy marked its 70th anniversary this week with a fleet review attended by President Xi Jinping, who is also head of the armed forces and has expanded the country’s military might. Last year, Xi said the mission of transforming China’s navy into a “first-rate world navy” has “never been more urgent.”

Meanwhile, China has been conducting a joint naval exercise with Southeast Asian countries from Wednesday until today.

The exercise is taking place in nearby sea areas and airspace of Qingdao, with focus on jointly handling pirate threats and maritime emergency rescues, Ren said.

The exercise will help improve the understanding and trust among the navies, deepen their cooperation on the defense and security on the sea, and contribute to regional peace and stability.

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