On Sunday, a naval flotilla belonging to China set off to join Russia’s air and naval forces in the Sea of Japan in an activity targeted to safeguard the security of crucial and strategic waterways, per China’s defence ministry.
With the codename “Northern/Interaction-2023”, the drill earmarks enhanced military collaboration between Russia and China since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022. It continues as Beijing keeps rebuffing US calls to resume its military communication.
The Chinese flotilla comprising four ship-borne helicopters and five warships departed the eastern port of Qingdao and will rendezvous with Russia’s forces in a predetermined zone, the ministry mentioned on Sunday on its WeChat account.
On Saturday, the ministry declared that Russia’s air and naval forces would participate in the drill in the Sea of Japan. This is the first time both Russia’s forces take part in the drill; Global Times cited military observers say.
Sovershenniy and Gromkiy, two Russian warships participating in the Sea of Japan drill, had conducted separate training in Shanghai with China’s navy on communication, formation movements, and sea rescues in July.
Before porting at Shanghai’s financial hub, the same vessels had sailed past Taiwan and Japan, prompting Tokyo and Taipei to monitor Russian warships.
Days before Russia attacked Ukraine in 2022 (February), Vladimir Putin, Russia’s President, and Xi Jinping, China’s President, declared a “no limits” collaboration they announced was meant to counter the influence of the US.
A notable area of collaboration is stronger military cooperation.
When the Defence Minister of China, Li Shangfu, met the head of Russia’s navy, Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov, in Beijing in July 2023, both sides reiterated their pledges to strengthen military ties further.
Liu Zhenli, China’s military Chief of Joint Staff, and Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov, Russia’s top soldier, made the same pledge over a video call last month.
Reference: The Business Standard, The Print, ABP Live
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