China, Russia Finish Joint Military Drills in Sea of Japan

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo, Reuters
The Chinese flag (L) and Russian flag (R)

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — China and Russia have finished their four-day joint military drills in the Sea of Japan, held apparently to show off their cooperation to Japan, South Korea and the United States.

The exercises, which involved about 10 Chinese and Russian naval vessels, ended on Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry said, adding that after the drills, the ships together headed for Vladivostok in Russia’s Far East, the home of the country’s Pacific fleet.

China and Russia blame the plan to create a free and open Indo-Pacific region shared by Japan, the United States and other countries, calling it an attempt to build an Asian version of NATO.

According to a series of announcements by Russia, the Chinese and Russian navies jointly conducted about 20 combat exercises, including those to shell maritime, coastal and aerial targets.