VLADIVOSTOK, July 5 (Xinhua) -- China and Russia on Friday
started joint naval drills off the coast of Russia's Far East.
Seven vessels from China's North Sea Fleet and South Sea Fleet
and 12 vessels from Russia's Pacific Fleet are taking part in the
Participating forces also include fixed-wing aircraft,
carrier-based helicopters and special operations detachments.
Addressing a welcoming ceremony at the naval port for Russia's
Pacific Fleet, Leonid Sukhanov, deputy chief of staff of the
Russian Navy, called "Joint Sea 2013" one of the largest joint
military maneuvers in the region.
The drill is aimed at enhancing the two navies' capability in
coordinating maritime defense operations, he said.
Ding Yiping, deputy commander of the Chinese Navy, said the
exercises marked the first time the two navies staged joint
exercises near Russia's Peter the Great Bay. After a similar drill
last year, the two sides would coordinate better, he said.
"The joint military drill is not aimed at any third party," Ding
China and Russia have sent their main naval forces, Chinese
military experts said.
China's vessels include four destroyers and two frigates, which
have been on active service since the beginning of the century.
Russia's vessels, led by the Varyag cruiser, also represent the
Russian navy's current fighting capacity, the experts said.
The maneuvers will focus on anti-submarine and anti-ship
operations, maritime air defense, joint escorts as well as marine
search and rescue operations.
The two navies conducted a joint drill in the Yellow Sea in