Amidst the ongoing tension between countries claiming the disputed islands in the South China Sea, Russia and China’s naval war games took place over the aforementioned area of water.
The eight-day Joint Sea 2016 naval war games of the two big countries are the single largest joint maritime military exercise they have ever conducted.
Three hundred marines, 13 warships, 2 submarines, 20 aircraft, and 12-armed carriers all in all were showcased in the drills. The event also marked the Russian navy’s 320th anniversary.
Russian and Chinese naval forces have carried out joint anti-submarine and air defense drills, which also featured a missile destroyer and warships. Helicopters flying overhead convoyed the entire drill.
Russian and Chinese marines complete land exercise during Joint Sea 2016 navy cooperation drills in south China. pic.twitter.com/yy11M5SivK
— Roman Kosarev (@Kosarev_RT) September 14, 2016
The mass joint drill took place in a bid to strengthen the Russian-Chinese naval cooperation. It was also the countries’ time to show off their tight ties after a ruling by The Hague arbitration tribunal dumped Beijing’s historic claims to the South China Sea.
The naval drills were reportedly planned a number of months in advance and synchronized with US-Japan’s joint Freedom of Navigation naval exercise in the disputed waters.
Prior to the event, China warned Japan that participating in maritime military exercises with the US in the disputed waters would bring about consequences to Japan. However, the Freedom of Navigation went on as planned.
China and Russia have been conducting regular exercises since 2012, supporting each other’s interests. Last 2015, the exercise focused on the Mediterranean, near Russia’s zone of operations in Syria.
Chinese naval spokesman Liang Yang said that the drill was carried out under a “background of actual combat,” also focusing on “seizing and controlling.” Yang went on saying the objective of the drill was accomplished successfully.
Up to now, China hasn’t backed down from the fight against the contested waters. Chinese navy ships still roam around the disputed islands, forcibly rejecting any non-Chinese boats that would fish around the islands.
Watch Russia and China’s naval war games below.
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