Sailors exchange visits before joint exercise
Updated: 2014-05-19 19:43
By Zhao Lei in Qingdao (chinadaily.com.cn)
Crew members of the Chinese missile destroyer Zhengzhou walk around Russian missile cruiser Varyag, in Shanghai on May 19. [Photo/Xinhua]
Officers and sailors from Chinese and Russian navies visited each other's ships in Shanghai on Monday as a joint exercise was set to begin in the East China Sea.
Crew members from the Russian missile cruiser Varyag were given a guided tour of the Zhengzhou, a missile destroyer from the People's Liberation Army navy.
Their Chinese peers from the Zhengzhou also visited the Varyag.
Officers from both navies said they are looking forward to working together and achieving success in the drill.
An officer from the Varyag, who identified himself as Vladislav, said he "is impressed by the advanced weapons on the Chinese ship", adding this is the second time that he has been involved in a drill with the Chinese navy.
A squadron of six ships from the Russian Pacific Fleet arrived at a military port in Shanghai on Sunday afternoon.
A total of 14 ships, two submarines, nine fixed-wing aircraft and several helicopters from the two navies will take part in "Joint Sea-2014" drill, which will begin on Tuesday and last seven days.
The drill will test the two parties' capabilities to launch joint operations such as anti-ship strike, anti-submarine combat and rescue of hijacked vessels.
This will be the third such exercise after joint drills off the coast of Russia's Far East in July 2013 and the Yellow Sea in April 2012.
Compared with the previous two drills, all Chinese and Russian naval forces in this year's drill will be mixed together, according to Tian Zhong, deputy commander of the PLA navy.