China-Russia naval drill to begin in S.China Sea

By Zhou Jiaxin Source:Global Times Published: 2016/9/12 0:48:40

China and Russia will begin an eight-day military drill in waters near Zhanjiang, South China's Guangdong Province on Monday, a Chinese naval official said on Sunday.

The annual drill by China and Russia is the largest marine operation which is conducted under a bilateral framework since 2012, China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy announced on its official Sina Weibo account.

According to the PLA Navy, in the naval exercise, the South China Sea Fleet of the PLA Navy will be the major participating force of China. Previously, China's major participating forces were North and East Sea fleets.

The marines will carry out live-fire drills, island landing and defense operations, said Liang Yang, a spokesperson of the PLA Navy.

Liang noted that the exercise featuring surface ships, submarines, fixed-wing aircraft, ship-borne helicopters and marines will include aerospace defense, anti-submarine operations, naval and air battle, and island and reef seizure.

This year's drills are likely to further increase tensions with the US, the Russia Today reported on July 28 when China's Defense Ministry announced the joint drills.

Xi Jingsong, deputy director of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, told the Global Times on Sunday that the drill could also be pertinent to Japan's new move over the Diaoyu Islands, about which Chinese President Xi Jinping and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang have expressed serious concern and warned Shinzo Abe's administration.

Yang Yujun, a spokesperson of China's Defense Ministry, said in July that the drill will consolidate and develop the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, deepen pragmatic and friendly cooperation between the two militaries, and enhance the capabilities of the two navies to jointly deal with maritime security threats, the Xinhua News Agency reported.



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