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Largest joint Russian-Chinese naval drills aim to counter U.S. influence in Asia


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(NaturalNews) The Russian and Chinese navies are set to hold their largest joint exercises ever, featuring scores of warships, hundreds of troops and an amphibious landing, in what appears to be a deepening of ties meant to counter a rising U.S. military presence in Asia.

As reported by the U.S. Naval Institute (USNI), the drills – dubbed Joint Sea 2015 II – are set to begin this week and last until Aug. 28. They will take place in the Sea of Japan and off the coast of Vladivostok and will comprise more than 20 ships from the Russian Navy and the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and includes a joint amphibious assault drill, according to state media in both countries.

"A source close to the operation said navies of the two countries will join forces to simulate anti-submarine combat and air defense and other relevant missions. A joint beach landing of troops is also planned," read a report in the Chinese state-controlled Xinhua news service.

"The source said the drills 'are not targeted at any third party and are not relevant to regional status-quo,'" a standard statement aimed at deflecting the drill's relevance to the U.S. Navy's increased presence in the region.

The USNI reported further:

"The PLAN is sending seven ships — Type 051C Luzhou-class guided missile destroyer Shenyang (115), Russian-built Sovremennyy-class guided destroyer Taizhou (138), Type 54A Jiangkai II frigates Linyi (547) and Hengyang (568), Type 071 amphibious warship Changbaishan, Type 072A tank landing ship (LST) Yunwushan (997) and Type 903 fleet oiler Taihu."

China will also send six helicopters, five fixed-wing planes and 200 marines. Russia will send two submarines, 12 fixed-wing aircraft and 16 surface ships, according to the Xinhua report.

Read more about China and Russia's rising militarism at NationalSecurity.news.

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