China, Russia begin first joint naval exercises
China and Russia launched their first joint naval exercises Sunday from the East China naval base of Qingdao, Chinese state media announced.
Russian naval deputy chief of staff Rear Admiral Leonid Sukhanov opened the manoeuvres in Qingdao with Ding Yiping, deputy commander of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy, DPA reported.
The six-day drills in the Yellow Sea "have rattled the nerves of media from Japan and South Korea," the China Daily said, citing Russian authorities as saying the warships would be near Japanese waters.
China deployed two submarines, 16 ships and more than 4,000 troops, Xinhua said. The Russian force sent seven ships including destroyers and missile cruisers.
China and Russia have conducted joint military exercises since 2005 within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
The bloc that includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan promotes regional cooperation and aims to check US influence.