Six Russian warships have arrived in Shanghai’s Wusong navy harbor to prepare for the upcoming Joint Sea-2014 naval drills with China.
The vessels will join the Chinese navy in joint military exercises that will begin on May 20 in the waters and air space near Shanghai, in the East China Sea. A total of 14 vessels, as well as a helicopter and a special forces team from Russia, will be used in the maneuvers.
"Different from previous China-Russia sea joint drills, the two sides will mix all the warships together for the first time, and the ships will carry out battle exercises beyond visibility for the first time," said Tian Zhong, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Chinese Navy.
"And submarines and warships will be arranged to fight automatically for the first time. The drill will help promote joint military capability between the two countries to face new threats and challenges," he said.
The warships are part of Russia’s Pacific fleet. Led by a missile cruiser, they will practice maneuvers, helicopter deck landings, search and rescue operations and live-fire drills on sea and air targets with the Chinese navy.
"This is our third joint military drill. We want to improve our cooperation through more exercises," said Alexandr Fedotenkov, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy.
The upcoming exercise follows similar operations in the Yellow Sea in April 2012 and off Russia’s east coast in July 2013.
Both sides want to improve practical cooperation and their ability to jointly deal with maritime security threats. Because the joint naval exercises are becoming routine, military exchanges are expected to increase in scope and number.
It will be the third exercise between the two sides, following similar operations off the coast of Russia’s Far East in July 2013, and the one in the Yellow Sea in April 2012.
The Chinese military says the drills are regular exercises by China and Russia. Both sides want to improve practical cooperation and their ability to jointly deal with maritime security threats. As the joint naval exercises are becoming a routine, military exchanges are expected to increase in scope and number.