China-Russia joint navy drill to enhance strategic partnership

By Liu Xin Source:Global Times Published: 2017/9/15 22:38:39

'Exercises will help safeguard regional peace'


The Chinese and Russian navies entered the Sea of Japan via the Tsushima Strait on Friday to conduct the second stage of the Joint Sea Drills 2017, with experts saying that the drill in unfamiliar waters would facilitate cooperation between the two sides to deal with possible clashes in the future.

The Chinese fleet entered the Sea of Japan on Friday and will conduct training exercises, including anti-submarine missions, underway replenishment and naval attacks with the Russian navy in an effort to enhance combat capabilities, China Central Television reported Friday.

China has sent a missile destroyer, a missile frigate, a supply ship and a submarine rescue vessel along with ship-borne helicopters and submersible rescue vehicles. The fleet set sail from Qingdao on Wednesday to join the drills, according to a statement on the website of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) navy.

"The joint drills in the Sea of Japan and near Vladivostok were scheduled months ago. It is not targeting any third party and has nothing to do with the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue," Zhang Junshe, a senior research fellow at the PLA Naval Military Studies Research Institute, told the Global times on Friday.

Although it is not the purpose of the joint drills to get involved with the heated nuclear issues on the Korean Peninsula, it could also show the two sides' capability and determination to safeguard regional peace, Li Jie, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Global Times on Friday.

The drills will be held in the Sea of Japan and the Sea of Okhotsk from Monday to September 26, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The Russian and Chinese navies agreed to hold the second stage of the Joint Sea Drills 2017 in September in Vladivostok, said the Russian Eastern Military District's Pacific Fleet Captain Vladimir Matveyev in August.

"The Russian and Chinese sides agreed to hold the drills from September 18 to 26, 2017, as stated in the protocol of the conference," Matveyev was quoted as saying by the Sputnik news agency.

Training exercises between the Chinese and Russian navies on anti-submarine and underwater docking between submarines for the first time would help the two sides to enhance rescue capabilities in case of any accidents, Zhang said.

"Conducting such joint drills could also enhance the strategic partnership between China and Russia, helping them cooperate in case of any common crises and making preparations for possible convoy duties along the Arctic sea route," Li said.

China and Russia have built high-level mutual trust and close ties through the joint military exercises conducted annually for the past six years, which show their resolution and capability to safeguard world peace, Tian Zhong, vice admiral of the PLA navy, said during the opening ceremony of the Joint Sea Drills 2017 at Russia's major Baltic Fleet base in the western seaport town of Baltiysk on July 22.

The joint drills attracted attention since the first stage, as this was the first time Chinese naval vessels had reached the Baltic Sea. Some in the Western media asked whether China was showing off its naval might.

"Training in unfamiliar waters can help the Chinese navy enhance its capability to better fulfill their duties during convoys, as well as protect China's national interests overseas," Zhang said, adding that the development of the Chinese navy is for peaceful purposes and it would never seek for hegemony.



Posted in: DIPLOMACY,MILITARY

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