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Home News Russia, China start joint air and navy drills

Russia, China start joint air and navy drills

Published on 21/08/2015

Russia and China on Friday started joint military drills in the waters and airspace of the Sea of Japan, Russia's military said.

The exercises off the Russian city of Vladivosktok — which are set to run until August 28 — will involve 22 vessels, up to 20 aircraft and over 500 marines from the two sides, the Russian armed forces said in a statement.

The culmination of the training will be a joint naval and airborne landing at a Russian military firing range, it said.

The drills come as Beijing and Moscow intensify cooperation in military, political and economic spheres, with Russia locked in its worst standoff with the West since the end of the Cold War over Ukraine.

In May the two sides conducted their first joint naval exercises in European waters in the Black Sea and Mediterranean. It was China’s farthest ever naval exercise from its home waters.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin hold frequent summits and their countries, both permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, often take similar stances there on divisive issues such as the conflict in Syria.

The waters of the Peter the Great Gulf, south of Vladivostok, are close to where the borders of Russia, China and North Korea come together.

Beijing and Tokyo are at odds over islands in the East China Sea farther south controlled by Japan but claimed by China, though both sides have made efforts to cool tensions through dialogue, including meetings between Xi and Japanese prime Minister Shinzo Abe.