Russia participating in joint naval exercises with China

Russian warships departed on Monday to take part in a joint naval exercise with China, an exercise that shows increasingly close defense ties between the two countries as they grapple with tensions with the United States.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the Varyag missile cruiser, the Marshal Shaposhnikov destroyer and two Russian Pacific Fleet corvettes will take part in maneuvers in the East China Sea starting Wednesday.

The ministry said the Chinese navy planned to deploy several surface warships and a submarine for the exercise. Russian and Chinese aircraft will also take part in the drills, according to the ministry.

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Moscow and Beijing have shown their growing military cooperation in recent months.

In November, Russian Air Force Tu-95 bombers and Chinese H-6K bombers conducted joint patrols over the Sea of ​​Japan and the East China Sea. As part of the exercises, Russian bombers landed in China for the first time, and Chinese bombers flew to an air base in Russia.

The Russian Pacific Fleet's Varyag missile cruiser sets sail in December.  19, 2022, for a planned joint naval drill between Russia and China.  The joint naval exercise will begin later this week in the East China Sea.

The Russian Pacific Fleet’s Varyag missile cruiser sets sail in December. 19, 2022, for a planned joint naval drill between Russia and China. The joint naval exercise will begin later this week in the East China Sea.
(Press service of the Ministry of Defense of Russia via AP)

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In September, China sent more than 2,000 troops along with more than 300 military vehicles, 21 fighter jets and three warships to participate in a joint exercise with Russia. The maneuvers marked the first time China sent forces from three branches of its military to take part in a single Russian drill, in what was described as a display of the breadth and depth of China-Russia mutual trust.

Defense cooperation between Moscow and Beijing has strengthened since Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine in February. 24.

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China, which has declared “boundless” friendship with Russia, has pointedly refused to criticize Moscow’s actions, blaming the US and NATO for provoking the Kremlin, and criticized sanctions imposed on Russia.

Russia, in turn, has strongly backed China amid tensions with the US over Taiwan.

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