China and Russia have launched joint naval drills in the Pacific, the Russian military announced Thursday as the countries pursue a “no-limits” relationship to counter the global dominance of the United States and its regional allies.
Russian and Chinese destroyers and other warships carried out live fire training and helicopter deck flights, Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The warship crews also practiced joint tactical maneuvering and ship-to-ship communications as part of what Russia’s military calls joint patrols.
“The patrols’ objectives are to strengthen naval cooperation between the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China, maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, monitor waters and protect maritime economic activity,” it said.
The maneuvers took place in the Sea of Okhotsk and the Pacific Ocean, Alexander Bagdasarov, a senior commander of the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet, said in a video released by the Defense Ministry.
The Russian and Chinese navies first held joint naval patrols in October 2021 with their warships passing through international waterways between Japan’s northern and southern islands and sparking Tokyo’s concerns.
The latest joint drills took place one week after Russia wrapped up large-scale war games involving China and several Russia-friendly countries.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the week-long Vostok-2022 maneuvers held in training grounds in Russia's Far East and in the waters off its eastern coast.
Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping are set to meet Thursday at a Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan.