U.S. is concerned with the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s growing presence in the world oceans as Chinese naval ships entered the Baltic Sea on Friday for the ‘Joint Sea 2017’ drills with Russian navy for the first stage of major exercises.
Making its presence in Europe, the first stage of joint drills between Russian naval forces and Chinese naval ships Joint Sea-2017 will be held from July 21 to 28 in the Baltic Sea, the second phase of the Joint Sea manoeuvres will be held in the Russian Far East, the Sea of Japan, and the Sea of Okhotsk in September.
Nearly 10 ships, over 10 aircraft and helicopters from the Russian and Chinese navy will join the exercises in the first phase.
China’s most advanced guided-missile destroyer, the 052D, which is equipped with phased array radar and a vertical launching system is participating in the drills.
“This is the first visit of Chinese fleet in Baltiysk in the history of the Russian-Chinese relations,” Tass agency quoted Russian Baltic Fleet spokesman Roman Martov as saying.
The Russian Navy will deploy the latest class corvettes – Stregushchiy and Boiky. In addition, nearly a dozen aircraft and helicopters from both sides will take part.
“The key goals of the exercises are to increase the efficiency in cooperation between the two fleets in countering security threats at sea, to train compatibility of the crews of Russian and Chinese warships, to strengthen friendship and cooperation between the Russian Navy and the Naval Forces of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
Trump administration has started to oppose China’s policy in South China Sea by allowing US Air Force B-1B bombers to fly over disputed airspace in the disputed region. A US Air Force statement said that the flight was intended to demonstrate the “rights of freedom of navigation anywhere international law allows.”
The Chinese Foreign Ministry denounced the flight, saying that China was “adamantly opposed to acts that undermine China’s sovereignty.”China has accused the US of a violation of sovereignty and international law after a US destroyer entered the waters around the Xisha (Paracel) Islands. In that incident, the USS Stethem was met by Chinese warships and fighter jets, which the Foreign Ministry said were deployed “to warn off” the offending US vessel.With the steady rise of China as economic power due to OBOR initiative ,Beijing is now focussing on increasing political and military muscles.