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The announcement of the “Joint Sea-2014” drills in the East China Sea also comes days after the US and Japan released a joint statement claiming Japanese control over the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands.
“The naval drill, which is a regular exercise between the Chinese and Russian navies, aims to deepen pragmatic co-operation between the two militaries as well as to improve their capability to deal with maritime security threats,” said a statement on the Chinese Defense Ministry website.
China and Russia held similar drills off the coast of Russia’s Far East last year, which saw seven vessels from China’s North Sea Fleet and South Sea Fleet and 12 vessels from Russia’s Pacific Fleet take part in a weeklong exercise.
The maritime exercise has become a regular event in bilateral military exchanges after the two navies conducted joint drills in 2012 and 2013.
“As the international situation gets more and more complicated, our two countries should maintain frequent exchanges,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Beijing last month.
Wang was echoing Russian President Vladimir Putin who has said recently that Moscow’s ties with Beijing are expected to be a considerable factor in global politics.
“We have never had such trust-based relations in the military industry. We began holding joint drills at sea and on land, in both China and the Russian Federation. This gives us reason to assume that Russian-Chinese relations will be a significant factor in global policy and will substantially influence modern international relations,” Putin said in the annual direct line televised last month.
Russia’s trade with the United States is $27.5 while with China it now stands at $87 billion.
Meanwhile, China has also criticized the fresh round of sanctions against Russia slapped by Washington in the wake of the Ukraine crisis.
“We believe that sanctions are inconducive to the solution of problems. On the contrary, they will escalate tensions,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang earlier this week.
TBP and Agencies