Home » Aviation » China, Russia Kick Off Joint South China Sea Naval Exercise; Includes ‘Island Seizing’ Drill


China, Russia Kick Off Joint South China Sea Naval Exercise; Includes ‘Island Seizing’ Drill

Chinese sailors welcome the Russian Navy destroyer Admiral Tributs (564) in Zhanjiang, China on Sept. 12, 2016. Xinhua Photo

Chinese sailors welcome the Russian Navy destroyer Admiral Tributs (564) in Zhanjiang, China on Sept. 12, 2016. Xinhua Photo

China and Russia kicked off more than a week of naval exercises in the South China Sea that will include an “island seizing” exercise, the Chinese Ministry of National Defense announced on Monday.

A five-ship Russian Navy flotilla arrived at the port of Zhanjiang in southern China on Monday for Joint Sea 2016, an eight-day bilateral exercise to be conducted in the South China Sea the ministry announced.

China issued pictures of the Udoloy-class destroyer Admiral Tributs (564) pulling into port on Monday.

The three Russian surface warships and two supply ships are set to drill with ten People’s Liberation Army Navy ships, “including destroyers, frigates, landing ships, supply ships and submarines,” according to the Chinese statement.

The Russians have also brought about 90 marines, amphibious landing craft and two helicopters. The Chinese will also bring, “11 fixed-wing aircraft, eight helicopters and 160 marines, as well as amphibious armored equipment,” the statement said.

Chinese sailors welcome the Russian Navy destroyer Admiral Tributs (564) in Zhanjiang, China on Sept. 12, 2016. Xinhua Photo

Chinese sailors welcome the Russian Navy destroyer Admiral Tributs (564) in Zhanjiang, China on Sept. 12, 2016. Xinhua Photo

“Chinese Navy spokesperson Liang Yang said the drill will feature the highest ever level of standardization, combat and digitalization in recent China-Russia drills,” read the statement. “Participants will undertake joint air defense, anti-submarine operations, landing, island-seizing, search and rescue and weapon use.”

Amphibious operations in which Chinese forces train to invade Taiwan and the Japanese Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea have been a staple of Chinese exercises for years.

While both the Russians and Chinese have been clear the exercise isn’t designed to target a third party, the July announcement of the bilateral exercise in the South China Sea follows the closely an international tribunal’s ruling that China’s wide claims to the South China were null and void.

Chinese sailors welcome the Russian Navy destroyer Admiral Tributs (564) in Zhanjiang, China on Sept. 12, 2016. Xinhua Photo

Chinese sailors welcome the Russian Navy destroyer Admiral Tributs (564) in Zhanjiang, China on Sept. 12, 2016. Xinhua Photo

In the last several years, Chinese forces have built artificial islands in the Spratly chain off the Philippines and in 2012 seized the then-Manila controlled Scarborough Shoal.

U.S. and neighboring countries are paying close attention to the coral outcropping to see if it’s set to become China’s next artificial island base in the South China Sea.

Last year the Russians and the Chinese conducted a large-scale amphibious operation near the Russian city of Vladivostok as part of Joint Sea 2015 II. Earlier last year, a Chinese surface action group drilled with the Russians in the Mediterranian and visited a Russian naval base in the Black Sea.

  • sferrin

    Hope we’re shadowing them as closely as they shadow our exercises. Don’t care how loud they whine.

  • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

    Can’t wait for the joint exercises where Chinese & Russian forces coordinate the arrest & murder of political dissidents & journalists!

    You know….. for realisms sake!

  • Ed L

    Mines lots of WW2 mines floating around.

  • sferrin

    You’re talking about Mao and Stalin right?

  • Machia

    Taiwan is in their crosshairs .

  • Machia

    You mean the divine force of Stalin and Mao who killed over 75 million people in the last century ?

  • John B. Morgen

    The [Old Gang] is back together again, and now we are to see what types of [beach parties] they have in store for us to watch.

  • Stephen

    Let’s see; Russia uses Hitler’s playbook in Georgia & Ukraine. China is opening the Imperial Japanese playbook in the South China Sea. Where is Neville Chamberlain when we need him?

  • Ed L

    What needs to happen is for China ans Russia to get mad enough to try to kick each other butt

  • old guy

    Hey fellas, we’re still here, even though we’re the incredible shrinking country

  • Mark Jamison

    United States military needs to upscale around. We need to practice our own military exercises for preparation for war time. We need a massive United States military.