China-Russia Naval Drill Ends with Island-seizing Mission

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Photo by GAN JUN/CHINA DAILY

The Chinese and Russian navies staged a mission to seize an island on Sunday as part of an eight-day exercise in the South China Sea.

As the key element of the annual drill, the navies dispatched warships, marine forces, helicopters and amphibious armored equipment for the mission.

The exercise demonstrated the Chinese and Russian navies’ capacities in command management, telecommunications coordination, and intelligence and information sharing, said Senior Captain Li Xiangdong, who commanded the Chinese warships.

The mission marked the end of the China-Russia Joint Sea 2016 drill, which started on Sept 12 in eastern waters off Zhanjiang, the southernmost city in Guangdong province and the base of the Nanhai Fleet. A closing ceremony was to be held on Monday.

Compared with previous years, the 2016 drill focused more on confrontational capacity such as surface warships, submarines and land-based defenses, Li said, adding that the use of an advanced command system made communication between the two navies smoother.

It was also the first time the China-Russia joint exercise had been held in the South China Sea.

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