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chinese and russian naval maneuvers, and south china sea
DrMarty | April 23, 2012 at 03:44 amby
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China and Russia will conduct joint naval maneuvers beginning Sunday near the northeastern Chinese city of Qingdao, in the Yellow Sea. While China and Russia have previously conducted joint military maneuvers within the context of the SCO in 2005 and in 2009, these were always geared to the SCO's common ``anti-terrorism'' and ``anti-separatism'' orientation.
These latest maneuvers between the two nations outside the SCO umbrella are aimed at territorial defense.
They are being coordinated at the highest levels by Chinese Chief of the General Staff, Chen Bingde, and by his Russian counterpart, General Nikolai Makarov. Chen told the press that the maneuvers would help to strengthen the ability of the two countries to handle regional threats jointly and demonstrate the two countries' commitment to maintaining peace and stability in the region and the world.
Russia has four warships plus support vessels. It will also involve the deployment of winged aircraft and helicopters. The Chinese also have 16 vessels and two submarines involved, as well as 13 aircraft and five shipboard helicopters.
Four thousand Chinese service members will attend the exercises. Yin Zhuo, an expert who advises the Chinese navy, said the number of ships involved was unprecedented. "Both sides will have deep exchanges in terms of tactics and technology," Yin told state television.
While the maneuvers will include rescue-at-sea operations and anti-piracy operations, it will also include anti-submarine exercises.
This exercise is occurring simultaneously with U.S. joint maneuvers in the South China Sea with the Philippines and South Korea, with Japan also participating electronically.
The annual U.S./Philippines Balikatan exercise is for the first time, beginning Monday, holding exercises on defending territory in the South China Sea, rather than only counter-terror exercises as in the past several years.
The Chinese-Russian exercises are an obvious response to the increased military build-up in the region resulting from Obama's "Asia pivot."
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