A task force of Russia’s Pacific Fleet arrived in the Chinese port of Qingdao to take part in the Maritime Cooperation 2019 exercise, the Eastern Military District’s press service said on Monday, TASS reported.
"Today, in line with the schedule, the Pacific Fleet task force led by the Varyag missile cruiser arrived to the Chinese port city of Qingdao to take part in the Russian-Chinese bilateral naval exercise, Maritime Cooperation 2019," the statement reads.
Along with the Varyag, the Russian task force also comprises the Oslyabya, the Admiral Vinogradov and the Admiral Tributs large landing ships, the Sovershenny corvette, the Igor Belousov salvage tug and the Irkut sea tanker.
Russian and Chinese sailors will train episodes of joint maneuvering and communication, perform missile launches and deliver artillery fire at sea and air targets as well as practice search and rescue operations. Apart from surface forces, the drills will engage naval aviation of the Chinese Navy and diesel electric submarines of the two countries.
Russia and China held their first joint naval maneuvers in the Yellow Sea in August 2005 on the sidelines of full-scale military exercises Peace Mission 2005 held under the aegis of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The annual specialized exercises have been held independently of SCO since 2012. They are designed to strengthen the defense capability of Russia and China to enable them to counter sea threats.