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Russia and China hold joint naval drills



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MOSCOW — Russian and Chinese warships on Thursday practiced joint action in the East China Sea, continuing a series of exercises that reflect growing defense cooperation between the two countries.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that the Varyag missile cruiser, the frigate Marshal Shaposhnikov and two corvettes of the Russian Pacific Fleet took part in the drills that began on Wednesday. China deployed two destroyers, a diesel submarine and several other ships for the exercise.

According to the ministry, Russian and Chinese aircraft also took part in the week-long exercise that included live-fire drills and anti-submarine drills.

“The main objective of the exercise is to strengthen naval cooperation between the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China, and to maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region,” the ministry said. .

Military ties between Moscow and Beijing have grown stronger since Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine on February 24.

China, which claims “unlimited” friendship with Russia, has categorically refused to criticize Moscow’s actions, blaming the US and NATO for provoking the Kremlin and condemning the sanctions. strict with Russia.

In contrast, Russia has strongly supported China amid tensions with the US over Taiwan.

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

In September, China sent more than 2,000 soldiers, more than 300 military vehicles, 21 fighter jets and three warships to participate in a large-scale joint exercise with Russia.

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