The regimes of China and Russia strengthen their alliance with joint naval exercises in the Far East

FILE PHOTO: The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy Type 052D guided-missile destroyer participates in a naval parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese PLA Navy at sea near Qingdao , in east China’s Shandong province, on April 23, 2019. (Photo by Mark Schiefelbein / POOL / AFP)

China and Russia conduct joint naval exercises off the Russian Far East, at the last sign of its rising political and military alignment.

The exercises Joint Sea 2021 began with a ceremony last Thursday at the Gulf Peter the Great of Russia and will run until this Sunday.

Chinese state media said the exercises would cover communications, anti-mine, anti-aircraft and anti-submarine operations, joint maneuvers and shooting at maritime targets.

The maritime military exercise began in waters near the Peter the Great Gulf of Russia in the Sea of ​​Japan. The People’s Liberation Army Chinese (EPL) sent advanced warships, including the great destroyer Tipo 055 Nanchang, the destroyer Tipo 052D Kunming, the frigates Type 054A Binzhou and Liuzhou, and the comprehensive supply vessel Tipo 903A Dongpinghuas well as fixed-wing antisubmarine warplanes and embarked helicopters from the Eastern, Southern and Northern Theater Commands, while Russia will deploy large anti-submarine vessels, frigates and aircraft, according to information from the media Global Times.

The Chinese Navy's new type 055 Nanchang guide missile destroyer (File photo by Mark Schiefelbein / AFP)
The Chinese Navy’s new type 055 Nanchang guide missile destroyer (File photo by Mark Schiefelbein / AFP)

The combined force will practice Shoot against targets designed to mimic enemy surface ships and conduct air defense exercises involving multi-role fighters and Russian helicopters SU-30SM, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

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The objective of the joint drill is enhance the friendly and pragmatic cooperation of the two navies, enhance fighting capabilities and enrich their capabilities to jointly face threats to maritime security, with the aim of safeguarding regional peace and stabilitysaid Thursday Zhang Junshe, principal investigator at the PLA’s Naval Military Studies Research Institute, to the Global Times.

Although exercises of this type have already been carried out, reports indicate that it is the first time China has sent anti-submarine warplanes and destroyers of more than 10,000 tons of displacement to carry out exercises abroad.

Joint Sea 2021 maritime exercises between China and Russia have been held since 2012.

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting in Brasilia, Brazil, November 13, 2019. (File Photo - REUTERS)
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting in Brasilia, Brazil, November 13, 2019. (File Photo – REUTERS)

Both countries are united in opposition to the dominant influence of the United States in world affairs and they have harshly criticized Washington’s foreign policy in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Although Beijing tends to follow Moscow’s lead in matters such as Iran, it has been increasingly assertive in defending what it views as its vital interests in relation to Taiwan, the South China Sea and the entire Indo-Pacific.

The Beijing regime has harshly criticized an agreement for Australia gets a fleet of eight nuclear-powered submarines built with American technology, announced last month, which is largely seen as a response to China’s vastly improved naval capabilities.

US President Joe Biden (R) delivers comments on a national security initiative at the White House, along with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (L) and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson who participated virtually.  EFE / EPA / Oliver Contreras / POOL
US President Joe Biden (R) delivers comments on a national security initiative at the White House, along with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (L) and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson who participated virtually. EFE / EPA / Oliver Contreras / POOL

On the other hand, Russia announced last August that it will military exercises with Iran and China towards the end of the year, in a maneuver that reaffirms the alliance of the three countries that rival the United States.

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The Russian ambassador in Tehran, Levan Dzhagaryan, indicated that The exercises will take place in the Persian Gulf, a key area of ​​global maritime transit, in late 2021 or early 2022.

“Russian, Iranian and Chinese warships will participate in it. The main objective is to practice actions to guarantee the safety of international navigation and fight against maritime pirates”, He declared in an interview with the agency Sputnik.

(With information from AP and Reuters)

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