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People's Daily Online>>China Military

Russian, Chinese warships start joint sea exercise

(Xinhua)

08:04, April 25, 2012

QINGDAO, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinese and Russian warships on Tuesday left a naval base in the eastern Chinese harbor city of Qingdao to start a joint exercise in the Yellow Sea.

The Chinese navy's missile destroyer DDG-112 Harbin and other warships from both countries will rendezvous and conduct a series of drills over the next two days.

According to the plan for the exercise, warships from the two navies will build up a maritime defense system and conduct joint air defense, anti-submarine, supply, and search and rescue operations on Wednesday.

They will conduct joint operations on defending a maritime transport route and firing live ammunition at air, surface and underwater targets.

Vice Admiral Ding Yiping, general director for the joint exercise from the Chinese side, said the exercise will test the combat capabilities of both navies and improve their coordination and cooperation ability.

The Russian warships, including Slava-class guided missile cruiser Varyag, the flagship of the Russian Navy's Pacific Fleet, arrived in Qingdao on Saturday.

Both sides have conducted several joint table exercises at headquarters since April 22.

Chen Hu, editor-in-chief of World Military magazine, said he believes the exercise is a routine drill and is not targeted at any third party.

It is a result of a consensus reached by General Chen Bingde, chief of the general staff of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), and Russian military leaders during General Chen's visit to Russia last August, said Chen Hu.

"The exercise is a routine drill under the framework of the two militaries' cooperation and was agreed more than six months ago," the editor said.

Since both Russian and Chinese navies have participated in escort missions in the Gulf of Aden, operations to be conducted in the joint exercise such as rescues of hijacked vessels concern maritime security worldwide, he noted.

The joint exercise is the seventh between Russian and Chinese armed forces since 2003. Chen Hu said such cooperation is the most effective way to deepen the two militaries' strategic partnership of coordination.

Under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, military cooperation between Russia and China has achieved further and deeper development, said Meng Xiangqing, a researcher with the PLA's National Defense University.

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