BEIJING, May 14 (ChinaMil) -- The China-Russia "Naval Interaction-2015 (I)" maritime exercise is proceeding as planned at present. The joint exercise is a normal military activity in accordance with the annual military exchange plans between the two countries and was approved by the two heads of state. It is also an important manifestation of the increasing bilateral strategic mutual trust between the two countries and their will to jointly safeguard maritime security.
In recent years, with the advancement of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, the mil-to-mil relations between the two countries are also continuously expanding.
For example, the bilateral activates, ranging from the "Peace Mission" series of exercises within bilateral and multilateral frameworks to the "Naval Interaction" series of exercises, not only highlight the deepening of bilateral pragmatic cooperation and the bilateral military mutual trust, but also convey a clear message: the military cooperation between China and Russia will stick to the principles of “non-aligned, non-confrontational and not directed against any third party” and will not pose a threat to any country.
The theme of the "Peace Mission" series of exercises is fighting against international terrorism and the theme of the "Naval Interaction" series of exercises is maritime defense. These exercises are all targeted at security threats to the international community and are cracking down on those who are threatening mankind and international and regional peace.
The "Naval Interaction - 2015 (I)" exercise focuses on "maintain shipping safety in open sea". According to the routine of the two countries, it is Russia’s turn in this year to send the participating troops from its Black Sea Fleet. China will send its 19th naval escort taskforce, which has just concluded the escort mission in the Gulf of Aden and waters off the Somali coast, to take part in the exercise.
Taking into account that the Mediterranean is a regular military exercise area of Russia and therefore Russia chose that area as the drill ground. These are just normal arrangements and have nothing to do with the situation in the region. A variety of outside speculations are just conjectures.
The "Naval Interaction" series of exercises began in 2012 and the aims of these exercises, including the "Naval Interaction - 2015 (I)", are all about defense, such as the joint protection of sea routes, joint maritime defense operations and joint escorts in high sea. These exercises have demonstrated the strategic fit and the ability of China and Russia to jointly cope with maritime security threats.
Maritime security situation in recent years shows that whether it is the fight against international terrorism or the fight against piracy, whether it is the response to tsunami triggered by an earthquake or evacuation from turbulent regions, we all need the international community, particularly the joint naval operations to address these challenges. Multinational naval forces’ operations in the waters off Somalia for several years, and China and Russia’s escort of ships carrying chemical weapons of Syria have all proved this point.
The ongoing "Naval Interaction-2015 (I)" exercise can further enhance the ability of the two navies in maintaining maritime security as both countries will send major warships to conduct drills including maritime defense, maritime resupply, escort operations, joint action to ensure the shipping safety and the actual use of weapons.
As for the Chinese military with expanding missions, expanding military cooperation, especially military exercises and training with other countries can help improve its level of realistic training. The institutionalized military exercises with foreign armies are conducive to the showcase of Chinese military’s open image. It can also bring new ideas to the Chinese military, renew concept and help to find out the weak points and then carry out targeted training.
The practice has proved that through the exchanges and learning in exercises with foreign militaries, the construction level of the Chinese PLA Navy is also improved. One highlight of this joint naval exercise is that the three Chinese warships joined the exercise operations without rest as soon as they finished the escort mission at the Gulf of Aden. This indicates that the comprehensive capability of the Chinese navy has reached a new level.