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Joint Russian-Chinese naval drills kick off in Far East

August 21, 2015, 10:08 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Both sides stressed that the drills are not directed against other countries

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Chinese Hengyang frigate

Chinese Hengyang frigate

© Yuri Smityuk/TASS

MOSCOW, August 21. /TASS/. Russian-Chinese navy drills Joint Sea 2015 II have started off the coast of Vladivostok in the Far East, the press service spokesman for Eastern Military District Roman Martov told journalists on Friday.

"On Friday, August 21, the joint command headquarters launched joint Russian-Chinese navy drills Joint Sea 2015 II. Commanders of the exercises - Russian Navy’s Deputy Commander-in-Chief Vice Admiral Alexander Fedotenkov and Chinese Navy’s Deputy Commander-in-Chief Rear Admiral Wang Hai - announced the joint headquarters’ command and all participating forces to start drills," Martov said.

Fedotenkov said at the opening ceremony of the military exercises that the first stage of Joint Sea 2015 drills held in spring "showed that Russian and Chinese seamen can effectively fulfill tasks in such a difficult region as the Mediterranean Sea."

Rear Admoral Wang Hai stressed that Russia and China should be ready to counter any emerging threats. "We need to understand very well that peaceful sea is a guarantee of economic development of our countries and guarantee of peace in the whole world," he noted.

Both sides stressed, however, that the drills are not directed against other countries.

The active phase of military exercise will be held on August 24-27. A total of 22 ships and vessels, up to 20 jets and helicopters, more than 500 marines and 40 units of euiqpment will participate in the drills.

The first Joint Sea naval exercise was held in April 2012. In July 2013, ships, planes, helicopters and amphibious soldiers of the two countries took part in a new Joint Sea exercise. Last year’s exercise was held off the Chinese coast.

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