Russia and China Plan Joint Naval Exercise in the Mediterranean

Chinese Jiangkai II (Type 054A) Class FrigateDefense ministries of Russia and China seek to form a regional collective security system in the Asia-Pacific region, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Tuesday after talks with his Chinese counterpart Colonel General Chang Wanquan in Beijing. . . .

“During talks with Comrade Chang Wanquan, we discussed the state and prospects of the Russian-Chinese relations in the military field, exchanged opinions on the military-political situation in general and the APR [Asia-Pacific Region] in particular,” Shoigu said.

“We also expressed concern over US attempts to strengthen its military and political clout in the APR,” he said. “We believe that the main goal of pooling our effort is to shape a collective regional security system. . . .”

Sergey Shoigu announced that Russia and China will hold joint naval drills in the Pacific and in the Mediterranean in 2015.

“We plan to conduct a regular joint naval exercise in the Mediterranean next spring. Another joint naval drill is planned in the Pacific,” he said. Touching upon his talks with Chang Wanquan, Shoigu said the sides expressed satisfaction that the spectrum of joint activities in the defense sphere “has visibly expanded and gained a systemic character.” In May, Russia and China conducted third Joint Sea naval exercises, he noted. . . .

Shoigu said strengthening and expanding ties with China remains Russia’s overriding priority.

Image: Chinese Jiangkai II (Type 054A) Class Frigate (photo: