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Russia, China to conduct naval drills in Sea of Japan Aug 20-28 -- Chinese defense official

Russia and China will conduct a joint naval exercise in the Peter the Great Gulf and the Sea of Japan in late August, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said on Thursday.

In accordance with a relative China-Russia agreement, the two countries' armed forces will hold joint exercises in the period from August 20 to 28, he said. They will be held in the waters, airspace and the coast of the Peter the Great Gulf and the Sea of Japan.

The upcoming exercise tasks will include organization of joint defense, including its anti-aircraft and anti-submarine components, as well as joint military operations against the surface forces of a simulated enemy, the Chinese defense official said. During the exercise the sides will conduct a joint landing operation.

A key purpose of the drills is to further enhance the sides' capabilities of jointly coping with maritime security threats, Yang said, adding they will include training in air defense, anti-submarine and surface warfare, and landings.

China will send seven naval ships including a destroyer and a frigate, along with fighter jets and other aircraft, Yang said. Russia's contingent will include surface vessels, submarines and fixed wing aircraft, he said, adding that both sides will dispatch ship-borne helicopters and marines. The drills come as Beijing and Moscow intensify cooperation in military, political and economic spheres.

In May, Russia and China held their first joint naval exercises in European waters in the Black Sea and Mediterranean -- Joint Sea 2015. During the manoeuvres in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea, the joint task force of the two states had gun practice at sea targets, drills with the use of the naval electronic warfare systems, throwing of depth charges at hypothetical submerged targets.

The joint naval task force comprised the guided missile cruiser Moskva, the Ladny escort ship, the Samum hovercraft, two amphibious assault ships - the Alexander Shabalin and the Alexander Otrakovsky, the MB-31 salvage tug, as well as two Chinese frigates -- the Linyi and the Weifang -- and a Chinese logistics ship.

[Source: Itar Tass, Beijing, 30Jul15]

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