Defense

Russia and China hold joint naval exercises

Russia and China this week began a joint naval exercise in the East China Sea, the latest drills between the two countries as Moscow continues to be a global pariah for its war in Ukraine.

Russia deployed a Varyag missile cruiser, the Marshal Shaposhnikov destroyer and two corvettes of Russia’s Pacific Fleet while China sent two destroyers, a diesel submarine and several other ships for the drills that began on Wednesday, The Associated Press reported

Russian and Chinese aircraft also took part in the military exercise, expected to last a week and involve firing exercises and anti-submarine drills, the Russia Defense Ministry said. 

“The main goal of the drills is to strengthen naval cooperation between the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China and to maintain peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region,” according to a statement from the ministry, as reported by the AP. 

Moscow and Beijing have strengthened their military cooperation since Russia first attacked Ukraine on Feb. 24, triggering international condemnation and strict sanctions intended to cripple Russia’s economy.

China so far has refused to criticize Russia over the invasion and has knocked the Western sanctions, while Moscow in turn has supported Beijing as tensions between it and the United States have grown over Taiwan. 

Russia and China have also engaged in frequent military drills over the past year, including in May when the two countries flew nuclear-capable bombers as President Biden was in Japan.

That was followed with a sweeping joint exercise in September that involved more than 2,000 Chinese troops, hundreds of military vehicles, combat aircraft and warships. 

And in November, Russia and China both flew bombers in joint patrols over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea.

Tags China Joe Biden Military drills russia

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