Image by Times of Asia
The preplanned second state of Maritime Cooperation-2017 naval exercises kicked off in the Russian port of Vladivostok as Chinese ships recently arrived to begin training.
The spokesman for Russia’s Pacific Fleet Captain First Rank Vladimir Matveyev said, “Upon entering the port of Vladivostok, the group of ships of the Chinese Naval Forces greeted the Russian Navy with an international salute. The Shijiazhuang destroyer, which leads the group, fired a 21-gun salute. In response, mariners of the Pacific Fleet welcomed the Chinese with an artillery salute,” reported Russian state news agency TASS.
Although scheduled months before, the timing is curious as the joint drills are obviously a response to the Trump administration’s pressure over North Korea’s nuclear program.
China has been reluctant to fully cut off North Korean trade as desired by The White House. With Trump and Secretary of Defense Mattis developing military option, the Kremlin and Beijing obviously want their point of view delivered as well.
The first phase of the joint naval exercises were held in the Baltic Sea in July. The current scenario involves at sea and land-based drills in the coming days.