Home » News & Analysis » China, Russia to Hold Joint Drills in South China Sea in September

China, Russia to Hold Joint Drills in South China Sea in September

Chinese and Russian marines pose during Joint Sea 2015 exercise in the Mediterranean on May 20, 2015. Xinhua Photo

Chinese and Russian marines pose during Joint Sea 2015 exercise in the Mediterranean on May 20, 2015. Xinhua Photo

China and Russia are set to drill in the South China Sea in September, according an announcement from Beijing.

Joint Sea 2016 will pair an unknown number Russian Navy and People’s Liberation Army Navy ships for exercises in the region, Chinese Ministry of National Defense spokesman Col. Yang Yujun said on Thursday.

“Held on both land and sea, the drill is a routine one between China and Russia, and does not target any third party, according to the statement.
“The drill will consolidate and develop the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, deepen pragmatic and friendly cooperation between the two militaries, and enhance the capabilities of the two navies to jointly deal with maritime security threats.”

The drill follows Joint Sea 2015 II — held off Russia’s Pacific coast in August. More than 20 ships from the two navies conducted joint training that included anti-submarine warfare, live fire drills, air defense training and was capped by a 400 marine amphibious landing.

Landing craft deploy PLA Marines during Joint Sea 2015 II. Chinese MoD Photo

Landing craft deploy PLA Marines during Joint Sea 2015 II. Chinese MoD Photo

Yang did not indicate the size and scope of the exercise in the statement.

InN addition to the joint drills off Vladivostok, last year the Chinese and the Russians drilled in the Mediterranean Sea and two Chinese ships frigates visited the Russian Novorossiysk naval base in the Black Sea.

While Chinese officials say the drills don’t target a third party, Russian leaders have made it clear the bilateral exercises in the Pacific are in part to provide a security partnership to the U.S. for countries in the region.

“We believe that the main goal of pooling our effort is to shape a collective regional security system,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in late 2014.
“We also expressed concern over U.S. attempts to strengthen its military and political clout in the [Asia-Pacific Region].”

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Categories: News & Analysis
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.

  • Hugh

    So the Chinese exercise with RIMPAC as well as the Russians……..

    • Donald Carey

      Divide and conquer…

    • Curtis Conway

      Play both sides of the fence.

      • Banlas Way

        One, a nearest neighbor, is a close friend and an ally. The other on the other side of the ocean, should be kicked back to where it should belong.

  • somehistorian

    Hopefully the Chinese mistake the Russians as US Military & the two destroy each other…

    • R’ Yitzchak M

      Unfortunately they don’t use the “funny pills” check the prescription?

  • daniel

    You cant take every exercise that other countries have as a threat to us, they are just protecting their interests just as we do. However, we have to remain aware and vigilant. Not paranoid.

  • Cynthia Estrada

    Until Russia makes a clear categorical statement of support for China, their presence on the West Philippines Sea as part of the UNCLoS must be taken as Putins rejection of the 9 dash line and Russia’s displeasure at the aggressive claims of China against its ASEAN neighbors

  • agnosic1


    …this Sino-Russian drill will do absolutely nothing to diffuse tensions in the area. While Russia has held these drills before in conjunction with China’s North and East Sea fleets, this will mark its debut with China’s South Sea fleet. [emphasis added] Russia is also put into a difficult position itself because of its relationship with Vietnam, an adversary of China in the South China Sea disputes.

    Time for the United States to give Vietnam a call, to see how “happy” the Vietnamese are with their allies, the Russians.

    • R’ Yitzchak M

      Russia is terrible “ally” even to their own people.. no one can have more contempt on their own people than tyrannts do. There are no worse COWARDS than tyrants that is painfully transparent in Russia. BUT! When you push the rat to the corner as Putin keeps repeating things could happen. I believe in my humble opinion we are at war but the last conventional engagement WILL BE. Mining’s of critical economic life lines harbours followed by AGGRESSIVE BIOLOGICAL “ethnic bullets” with extremely morbid agents and THE extremely AGRESSIVE VECTORS (few weeks -months) and with binary Trojan Horse like the “Biopreparat” Russian experiment in 1970s described by the Russian general researcher on biological warfare he is now American expert? He described experiments on two step “agent” introduced on victims reacting as a LEGINELA disease (similar symptoms as a classical pneumonia..) 2-3 week of total recovery everything seems to be normal and healthy guy plays the tennis all of a sudden his legs give up.. second DAY he got mad, delirious insane 3 day he is dead. No agents, toxins NOTHING.. NOTHING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO BE FIND because “leginela like” agent triggered immune system to be “slightly” motivated to target the nerve system of the victim to eat its own nerve system in a 3 days.. since 1970’s EVERYONE IS PLAYING THIS TECHNOLOGICAL “advances” E V E R Y-body that will be introduced at the begging of non conventional warfare henceforth the thermonuclear exchange will must follow. Russian targets are spread all over US Targets provide much “juicier targets” well concentrated for the maximum yield? A “New” REICH? Whose? German again? Holly war again? The “Deep State” Evil Empire?Chinese Evil Empire”? Pick and choose your guys who are left alive under the shadow of “that tree”?

  • R’ Yitzchak M

    “Defuse”??? Russians face existential threat worse than at the summer of 1942. 14km from Moscow, surroundings of St. Petersburg and almost fall of Stalingrad. Then German lost 10 millions of their thugs today they didn’t loss any of them. Today Germans and their satellites got Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia.. that is not Warsaw Pact Contries ex Russian allies but RUSSA PROPER..

    US promises every Russian PROPER PROVINCE an “nuclear umbrella” and Russian protection to her own “Mother Russia” comes to NOTHING. So the painfully obvious choice to the thugs run Russia is to give itself to perceived lesser evil. They fought NATO like forces in 1940’s 25 millions of Russian losses to the same MASTER RACE is still fresh in Russian memory. China is their “natural” hope to fight back the very same enemy.

    If China plays its hand well they will OWN THE WHOLE EUROPE.

    Bear in mind China and Russia are CONTINENTAL SUPER POWERS. NATO is NOT.