China and Russia pave way for naval exercise
Updated: 2015-05-12 07:42
By Zhao Shengnan(China Daily)
China's Navy servicemen salute at the launch ceremony of the "Joint Sea 2015-I" in the southern Russian port city of Novorossiysk. [Photo/mod.gov.cn]
Zhang Junshe, a senior researcher at the People's Liberation Army Naval Military Studies Research Institute, said the exercise primarily focuses on nontraditional threats, as the Mediterranean is an important shipping route, especially for Chinese trade with Europe.
The exercise could help the Chinese navy to improve and test its capability in distant seas, as well as gain experience in safeguarding global peace, said Zhang.
It is the second time the Chinese and Russian navies have jointly sailed the waters of the Mediterranean. The first was when vessels from the two countries successfully escorted a Syrian chemical weapons shipload in January last year, Xinhua News Agency reported.
The exercise follows a military parade in Moscow's Red Square on Saturday marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, with President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin standing together and reviewing soldiers from both countries.
Wen Bing, a researcher at the PLA Academy of Military Sciences, said the close military ties are in line with the stable development of the Sino-Russian relationship.
The two militaries have conducted joint naval exercises in the Yellow Sea and East China Sea in recent years, as well as some exercises under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.