BEIJING, April 30. /TASS/. Russia and China will hold joint naval drills in the Mediterranean Sea in the middle of May in line with a plan of military exchanges, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said Thursday.
"For participation in the drills, both sides will overall send nine surface vessels, including from the Chinese side the Linyi, Weifang and Weishanhu vessels will take part, which are currently fulfilling tasks as part of the 19th convoy in the area of the Gulf of Aden and Somali coast," Geng said.
In his words, the exercises aim to "deepen Chinese-Russian interstate friendly practical cooperation, boost opportunities of the two countries’ navies to jointly react to the security threat at sea."
"Defensive actions at sea, replenishment of supplies at sea, escorting vessels, joint actions to ensure sea transportation security and practical use of armaments" will be practiced during the drills.
"It should be explained that these joint exercises are not aimed against a third party and are not connected with the situation in the region," Geng said.
In November 2014, Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergey Shoigu said after talks with his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Chang Wanquan that Russia and China will hold joint naval drills in the Pacific Ocean and Mediterranean Sea in 2015.