Cape Town – China and Russia will strengthen co-operation between their militaries in the largest joint naval drill between the two nations scheduled to start later this week, say reports.
The People’s Daily reported that the eight-day manoeuvres are planned to focus on joint maritime air defence, joint escorts, and marine search and rescue operations. The two navies last conducted joint navy drills in 2012 in the Yellow Sea.
According to an AP report the Chinese Defence Ministry said its navy would send four destroyers, two guided missile frigates, and a support ship.
"This marks our navy's single biggest deployment of military force in a China-foreign joint exercise," the ministry said.
The Chinese People's Liberation Army chief of the general staff, Fang Fenghui, has clarified the nature and intent of the drill.
"The joint drill conducted by the two militaries of China and Russia do not target any third parties," Fenghi told the Liberation Army Daily. "Their aim is to deepen co-operation between the two militaries in the training field, boost capacity in co-ordinating military activities, and serve the purpose of safeguarding regional security and stability."
The Chinese fleet will be anchored in Vladivostok during the drill.