Sino-Russian joint naval war games begin in South China Sea

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naval exercise1China and Russia have begun an eight-day war game in the South China Sea from September 12. This comes after the red dragon’s claims in the area were dismissed by an international tribunal.

The joint exercise named, Joint Sea-2016 will include on ‘seizing and controlling’ islands and shoals of the Chinese army.

The Russian Navy has already arrived at a military port at south China’s Zhanjiang City. The Chinese naval wing will come from the South China Sea Fleet under the People’s Liberation Army Navy.

Surface ships, submarines, fixed-wing aircraft, ship-borne helicopters, marine corps and amphibious armoured equipment from both navies will take part in the joint exercise.

Compared with previous joint drills, these exercises would be deeper extensive in terms of organisation, tasks and command. While China claims almost all of the South China Sea and has sought to bolster its case by building a series of artificial islands capable of supporting the military.

In this regard, a UN-backed tribunal ruled in July that any extensive claims to the sea had no legal basis and that China’s construction of artificial islands in disputed waters was illegal.  These islands were seen as disputable by the tribunal.

Reacting furiously, Beijing threatened a decisive response if anyone took provocative action against their country’s security interests.

China and Russia have close military and diplomatic ties, often in opposition to the West, particularly the United States, and their leaders Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin enjoy a tight relationship.

The two countries had held military exercises in Peter the Great Gulf, south of the Russian Pacific city of Vladivostok last year.

Meanwhile, the presence of the United States in the area is causing tension. With the US planning to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea, China and Russia said the system would threaten peace on the Korean Peninsula.