China, Russia "Strengthen Cooperation" With Large-Scale Joint Navy Drills

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Monday, Dec 19, 2022 - 09:40 PM

Russia and China have announced new large-scale joint naval drills to be held this week in the East China Sea at a moment the West has continued to be alarmed that relations between Moscow and Beijing have remained unfazed by the Ukraine war.

The Russian defense ministry (MoD) announced the drills will be held December 21-27, with a purpose to "strengthen cooperation between the two navies to maintain peace and stability in the Asian Pacific region." There will also be an anti-submarine warfare and missile launch training component to the drills.

"The Russian fleet at the exercise will be represented by [the] Pacific Fleet flagship, the missile cruiser Varyag, the frigate Marshal Shaposhnikov, and [two] corvettes," the Russian MoD statement continued.

Dubbed the "Maritime Cooperation 2022" exercise, air forces from both countries are also expected to continue patrolling the Sea of Japan and East China Sea, as they've been observed doing of late.

The AP reports based on official statements, "The Russian Defense Ministry said the Varyag missile cruiser, the Marshal Shaposhnikov destroyer and two corvettes of Russia’s Pacific Fleet would take part in maneuvers in the East China Sea starting Wednesday."

"The ministry said the Chinese navy planned to deploy several surface warships and a submarine for the exercise," AP continues. "Russian and Chinese aircraft will also take part in the drills, according to the ministry."

Large groupings of warships have been observed en route just ahead of the drills, with a detachment of Russia’s Pacific Fleet having departed the far eastern port of Vladivostok.

As for the Chinese side, Japan's Defense Ministry previously said it monitored at least nine Chinese navy warships entering the western Pacific in preparation, including the Liaoning aircraft carrier.

The Varyag missile cruiser of Russia's Pacific Fleet sails off on Dec. 19, 2022, for a joint naval drill planned by Russia and China. Russian MoD via AP

"The Liaoning was spotted transiting from the East China Sea to the western Pacific Ocean through the Miyako Strait, between Japan’s Miyako and Okinawa islands, last Friday," writes South China Morning Post. "It was escorted by the Type 055 destroyer 103 Anshan, Type 052D destroyer Chengdu, Type 054A frigate Zaozhuang, and the Type 901 supply ship Hulunhu."

The US has sought to pressure Beijing to back off its "no limits" partnership with Moscow (as was declared not long before Russia's Feb.24 invasion of Ukraine); however, clearly all signals point in the other direction - that China has remained unswayed and is in fact deepening cooperation even on a military level.