China and Russia will hold a naval exercise in the Sea of Japan in late August.
Having conducted joint naval exercises recently in the Mediterranean, China and Russia will look to increase their naval cooperation in Asia. Next month, the two countries will conduct a joint naval exercise in the Peter the Great Gulf, the largest gulf of the Sea of Japan, along the coast of Russia’s Primorski Krai. The exercise will take place from August 20 to 28, and focus primarily on improving the interoperability of the two navies and bolstering strategic coordination. The exercise, which is code-named “Joint-Sea 2015-II,” will take place as tensions remain high between China and Japan, who dispute the extent of the exclusive economic zones in the East China Sea, and between Russia and Japan. Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev recently announced that Russia would accelerate the construction of civilian and military features on the Kuril Islands, which remain disputed between Russia and Japan.
Details about the exercise emerged during a monthly Chinese Ministry of Defense press conference. People’s Liberation Army Senior Colonel Yang Yujun, a spokesperson for the ministry, noted that “purpose of the exercise is to consolidate and develop the China-Russia all-round strategic coordination partnership, to deepen the pragmatic and friendly cooperation between the Chinese and Russian militaries, and to enhance the organization and command capabilities and the levels of the two militaries in jointly conducting the joint traffic defense activities and joint landing activities, so as to further enhance their capabilities of jointly coping with maritime security threats.”