Sino-Russian joint naval exercise starts

By ZHAO LEI (China Daily) 10:09, December 22, 2022

Chinese navy ships depart on Tuesday from a military port in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province, for the upcoming Sino-Russian joint naval exercise.[Photo/Xinhua]

The Chinese and Russian navies started a weeklong joint exercise on Wednesday in the East China Sea, according to a spokesman for the People's Liberation Army Navy.

Senior Captain Gao Xiucheng said the Joint Sea 2022 naval exercise would involve operations like an area blockade, air defense, search and rescue, and anti-submarine strike.

He said the joint exercise aims to demonstrate the determination and capability of the two sides to jointly respond to maritime security threats and maintain international and regional peace and stability, noting that it would further deepen the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership.

According to the spokesman, five ships from the PLA Navy's East Sea and North Sea fleets, including CNS Baotou, a Type 052DL guided-missile destroyer, and CNS Binzhou, a Type 054A guided-missile frigate, would participate in the exercise along with submarines, early-warning aircraft and helicopters from the Chinese navy.

Five warships from the Russian navy are taking part, including the Slava-class missile cruiser Varyag, the flagship of the Pacific Fleet, and the Udaloy-class guided-missile destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov.

Gao said the Joint Sea naval exercises have become a major platform for the two navies to strengthen their strategic mutual trust, foster friendship and hone joint operation capabilities.

This year's exercise will feature realistic combat scenarios and new training methods. It is expected to further develop the two navies' cooperation and communication, he said.

This is the 10th such exercise between the Chinese and Russian navies since April 2012, when the first was held in the Yellow Sea.

In a news release published on Tuesday, China's Defense Ministry said the joint naval exercise was arranged according to an annual cooperation plan between the Chinese and Russian militaries and would be conducted in the waters east of Zhoushan and Taizhou, two cities in East China's Zhejiang province.

Song Zhongping, a military affairs commentator and retired officer from the PLA, said on Wednesday the fact that there would be air defense and antisubmarine operations in the joint exercise indicates a high level of mutual trust between the two militaries.

He said that the Chinese and Russian ships will conduct a joint patrol operation after the exercise, and that will also be a good opportunity for the two sides to practice cooperation maneuvers.

"During the joint patrol, there will definitely be foreign ships and aircraft carrying out close reconnaissance, and the Chinese and Russian forces will respond by sending vessels and planes to intercept. That will be a good chance for them to rehearse their tactics," Song said.

(Web editor: Cai Hairuo, Liang Jun)


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