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China-Russia Joint Naval Exercise Begins In Yellow Sea

4/22/2012 5:43 AM ET

China and Russia began a joint naval exercise in the Yellow Sea on Sunday in which 4,000 Chinese servicemen and 18 warships, including two submarines, 13 aircraft and five shipboard helicopters are taking part.

Russian warships include the Pacific Fleet's flagship Varyag, a slava-class guided missile cruiser, and Marshal Shaposhnikov, Admiral Panteleyev and Admiral Vinogradov and three Udaloy-class destroyers, China's state-run media reported.

Russia's Deputy Chief of Naval Staff Rear Admiral Leonid Sukhanov announced the official start of the six-day military drill in the presence of Ding Yiping, Deputy Commander of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy at a function in Qingdao naval base on China's east coast.

The joint exercise marks the first naval drill between China and Russia, following four military exercises involving the two nations since 2005.

The exercise will focus on joint maritime air defense and defense of marine traffic arteries, including subjects of joint escort, maritime search and rescue, anti-submarine tactics as well as joint effort to rescue hijacked vessels, the Xinhua news agency reported.

by RTT Staff Writer

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