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China, Russia ready for joint navy drill in South China Sea

A Russian fleet arrived at a port in Zhanjiang in south China's Guangdong Province on Monday, with Chinese naval forces gathering for a joint drill.

The "Joint Sea 2016" drill will go ahead between September 12 and 19 in the South China Sea, off Guangdong.

Wang Hai, Chinese chief director of the exercise and deputy commander of the Chinese Navy, said that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the two sides establishing strategic cooperation.

The two sides have conducted six joint navy drills in five years, and the drill will enhance the abilities of both sides to counter common security threats, said Wang at the welcoming ceremony,

Chinese Navy spokesperson Liang Yang said the drill will feature the highest ever level of standardization, combat and digitalization in recent China-Russia drills.

Participants will undertake joint air defense, anti-submarine operations, landing, island-seizing, search and rescue, and weapon use.

The Russian Navy will bring three surface ships, two supply ships, two helicopters, 96 marines, as well as amphibious armored equipment.

Most of the Chinese forces will come from the Nanhai Fleet under the People's Liberation Army Navy, with some from the Beihai Fleet and Donghai Fleet.

A total of 10 ships from the Chinese Navy, including destroyers, frigates, landing ships, supply ships and submarines, will take part in the drill, as well as 11 fixed-wing aircraft, eight helicopters and 160 marines, as well as amphibious armored equipment.

According to a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson in July, the drill will not target a third party.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 12Sep16]

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East China Sea Conflict
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