Historic naval drills between Russia and China are scheduled to occur late in May in the Mediterranean Sea. The joint navy drills will reportedly be the first time the two nations will engage in military training exercises together in the region.
Naval drills between China and Russia have reportedly been held in the Pacific since 2012. The mid-May military maneuvers will coincide with the United States enhancing “military cooperation” with Asian allies. The U.S. military’s cooperation is reportedly in response to the “increasingly assertive pursuit of maritime territorial claims” by China.
Nine Russian and Chinese naval ships will participate in the military drills in the Mediterranean Sea. Chinese vessels involved in the historic naval drills include ships the country currently has on “anti-piracy patrols” off the coast of Somalia.
The Chinese Defense representative also said that the joint naval drills between Russia and China are designed to increase the “friendly and practical cooperation” between the two countries and to enhance “our navies’ ability to jointly deal with maritime security threats.”
Geng did not reveal a specific date for the Chinese and Russian naval drills. The military exercise will reportedly focus upon “navigation safety, at-sea replenishment, escort missions and, live-fire exercises.”
Both Russia and China are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. The two nations reportedly have close military, economic, and diplomatic ties. President Xi Jinping will be visiting Moscow in May to view a parade celebrating the end of World War II.
In spite of claims that China has been “flexing its military” might since Xi took office in 2014, officials maintain that that the military power is merely a non-threatening force for peace. The Chinese navy has reportedly become a focal point of President Xi’s ongoing plan to project the power of the nation, particularly in the South China Sea. China claims that approximately 90 percent of the 1.35 million square miles of the South China Sea is its “sovereign territory.”
China is only one of the nations to lay claim on portions of the South China Sea; the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei, and Vietnam feel that area belongs to them as well.
What do you think about the historic naval drills to be conducted jointly by Russia and China in the Mediterranean Sea?