Naval drill not aimed at third party: official

By Shan Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2016/9/17 23:28:40 Last Updated: 2016/9/17 23:43:40

A carrier-based helicopter takes off during the "Joint Sea 2016" exercise between China and Russia in Zhanjiang, South China's Guangdong Province on Saturday. The naval drill started September 12 and will end on Monday. It has begun the practical rehearsal process to test the training quality and technical and tactical capabilities of Chinese and Russian navies. Photo: CFP

A Chinese navel official said that the ongoing naval drill between China and Russia is not aimed at any third party, and an expert noted that the Western media has been reading too much into the event.

The "Joint Sea 2016" exercise in the South China Sea off South China's Guangdong Province from September 12 to Monday has come into the practical rehearsal process to test the training quality and technical and tactical abilities of Chinese and Russian navy, Beijing-based newspaper The Mirror reported Saturday.

Rear Admiral Yu Manjiang, commander of China's navy, said that the drill is a routine communication and cooperation activity between the two navies, and is not aimed at any third party or any certain region, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

"The drill shows the strategic partnership between China and Russia has matured," Liu Feng, an expert on Chinese maritime issues, told the Global Times on Saturday.

However, the Western media might have read too much into this event and has been sensationalizing it as a threat from China or Russia, Liu noted. "Actually, the drill, conducted offshore, showed China's intent to maintain peace and stability in the region."

The drill consists of three phases: preparation at port, exercise at sea and summary. China and Russia are using a total of 13 surface ships, two submarines, 11 fixed-wing aircraft, 10 ship-borne helicopters, amphibious armored equipment as well as 256 marines for the drill, said Xinhua.

Posted in: Military, Cross-Borders

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