China, Russia going for joint naval drill on May 20-26 in the presence of Putin and Xi Jinping

China, Russia to hold joint naval drill on May 20-26

BEIJING: China and Russia are going for joint naval drill on May 20-26 in the presence of Putin and Xi Jinping. In a bid to deepen military cooperation the Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping will oversee the start of the week-long exercises, “Joint Sea-2014”.

“A total of 14 surface ships, two submarines, nine fixed-wing warplanes, six shipboard helicopters and two operational detachment-alphas (ODAs) have rallied in Shanghai on Sunday. This will be the third such exercise after joint drills off the coast of Russia’s Far East in July 2013 and the Yellow Sea in April 2012”, reports Russian media.

At least 16 Chinese and Russian warships including two submarines will take part in the drill. The military maneuvers will include simulated attacks, escort of ships, and search and rescue operations.

The East China Sea has become sensitive spot after China announced the creation of an air defence identification zone in November 2013. The zone includes the disputed Diaoyu Islands, known as the Senkakus in Japan, over which both China and Japan claimed sovereignty, but which are now controlled by Tokyo. Western media is taking this year drill in a different perspective due to Ukraine-Russia standoff. 

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“Russia might want to use the joint drill to remind the United States and the European Union that Moscow and Beijing are going to strengthen their ‘full-fledged strategic partnership’, a consensus reached by President Xi Jinping and President Putin,” Shanghai-based military expert Ni Lexiong said.

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