China, Russia Planning 20-Ship Naval Exercise in the Sea of Japan in August

July 17, 2015 12:52 PM
Russian sailors aboard a Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy Ship.
Russian sailors aboard a Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy Ship.

China and Russia will conduct their largest joint Pacific exercise in August near Japan, Russian Navy planners announced on Friday.

Announced last year, Joint Sea Exercise 2015 will occur in both the Sea of Japan and off the cost of Russian region of Primorsky — about 250 miles away from Japan.

“These maneuvers will for the first time involve a joint amphibious assault drill in Russia’s Primorsky territory with the participation of carrier-based aircraft,” Russian Pacific Fleet spokesman Roman Martov said, reported the Russian TASS wire service.

“Representatives of the headquarters of the Russian Pacific Fleet and the Navy of the People’s Liberation Army of China have carried out major work for the planning of the Chinese warships’ visit to Vladivostok port, the cultural program, sports competitions and all the tactical events of the sea, land and air parts of the maneuvers.”

Since 2011, Russia and China have conducted regular joint exercises.

Russian and Chinese ships in the Pacific in 2014. China Daily Photo
Russian and Chinese ships in the Pacific in 2014. China Daily Photo

Last year was the largest series of exercises, the Russian Navy and the PLAN drilled with 14 surface ships, two submarines, aviation assets and special operation forces (SOF), according to Chinese media.

The Pacific drills follow the first ever joint Chinese-Russian exercise in the Mediterranean sea earlier this year. The much smaller exercise featured three Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and six Russian.

In November, said Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the combined military-to-military between China and Russia partnership was growing.

“We believe that the main goal of pooling our effort is to shape a collective regional security system,” Shoigu said.
“We also expressed concern over U.S. attempts to strengthen its military and political clout in the [Asia-Pacific Region].”

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
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