Russia and China are preparing for the Joint Sea-2016 naval drills, which are to take place in the South China Sea between 11 and 19 September. Although such manoeuvres are to be held for the 5th time, the most disputed area in the Asia Pacific, where interests of Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, and the Philippines are clashed, has been engaged by the Chinese and Russian military fleets for the first time.
The exercises were discussed on the G20 sidelines in the Chinese Hangzhou. The Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed Monday that the drills would 'affect interests of no one and are beneficial to security of both China and Russia'. According to the Pacific Fleet spokesman, destroyers Admiral Vinogradov, Admiral Tributs, large landing ship Peresvet, tugboat Alatau, and tanker Pechenga are bound for the South China Sea. The drills are to be held at the Zhanjiang naval base.
The US has already accused China and Russia of their 'intention to aggravate complicated state of affairs in the South China Sea'. At the same time the Pentagon makes no secret of the fact that the US ships will control waters of the South China Sea on a permanent basis. The US Navy has 7 ships in the region - the Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, 2 cruisers and 4 destroyers. The American nuclear submarine Mississippi, equipped with cruise missiles, also patrols the waters.
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