Russia, China will hold first joint naval exercise in Mediterranean in May

Russia, China will hold first joint naval exercise in Mediterranean in May

China will hold joint naval drills with Russia in mid-May in the Mediterranean Sea, the first time the two countries will hold military exercises together in that part of the world, the Chinese Defence Ministry said on Thursday.

China and Russia have held naval drills in Pacific waters since 2012. The May maneuvers come as the United States ramps up military cooperation with its allies in Asia in response to China’s increasingly assertive pursuit of maritime territorial claims.

A total of nine ships from the two countries will participate, including vessels China now has on anti-piracy patrols in waters off Somalia, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng told a monthly news briefing. …

Geng gave no specific date for the drills, which will be focused on navigation safety, at-sea replenishment, escort missions and live fire exercises. …

President Xi Jinping is expected to visit Moscow next month to attend a parade celebrating the end of World War Two. [Irony of ironies. – Ed.]

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