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Global Insights: Russia-China Naval Drill Sends Mixed Signals

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

In addition to their growing energy and renewed arms trade, another sign of the strengthening Russia-China relationship was their recently concluded bilateral naval exercise. The drills were larger and more sophisticated than those held last year. But they are still far from establishing a Russia-China capacity for joint maritime combat operations, which does not appear a goal of either government in any case.

The active phase of the maneuvers took place July 8-10 in the waters off of Vladivostok. Twelve Russian vessels from the Pacific Fleet participated in this year’s drill, compared to seven warships and support craft in 2012. China sent fewer ships than last year, a total of seven vessels from its North Sea and South Sea fleets, but they included some of the People's Liberation Army Navy’s most advanced warships, including a guided-missile destroyer with an Aegis-type radar system. The drills involved a total of 4,000 military personnel, including Special Forces units from both countries. ...

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