Chinese, Russian warships gather at Qingdao for joint drill

Russian Navy Deputy Chief of Staff, Rear Admiral Leonid Sukhanov received interview.

Chinese and Russian warships gathered at the eastern Chinese harbor of Qingdao Saturday to prepare for a joint exercise, slated for April 22-27 in the Yellow Sea.

A total of 16 vessels and two submarines from Chinese navy have been summoned at Qingdao of east China’s Shandong Province, including five missile destroyers, five missile frigates, four missile boats, a support vessel and hospital ship. Together with them are 13 aircraft and five shipboard helicopters.

More than 4,000 Chinese servicemen will attend the drill, said the navy sources.

On Saturday, a Russian naval task force arrived at the naval base in Qingdao.

The task force, four warships from Russian navy’s Pacific Fleet and three supply ships, left their home port in Vladivostok on April 15.

The Russian warships include the Pacific Fleet’s flagship Varyag, a slava-class guided missile cruiser, and Marshal Shaposhnikov, Admiral Panteleyev and Admiral Vinogradov, three Udaloy-class destroyers.

According to China’s Defense Ministry, the exercise will focus on joint maritime air defense, anti-submarine tactics, maritime search and rescue as well as joint effort to rescue hijacked vessels.

The two navies will also deploy aircraft and special force units to conduct joint maritime anti-terror task in the exercise.

China and Russia have conducted four bilateral and multilateral military exercises since 2005.

Xinhua