BEIJING (Sputnik) — The Chinese Defense Ministry has announced that Beijing and Moscow had made a new breakthrough in missile defense cooperation during joint drills.
During the drills, the Russian and the Chinese military forces simulated a variety of air-defense scenarios without using any military units.
The Chinese Defense Ministry noted that successful joint drills showed the positive efforts of two countries to support mutual interests in the area of security and regional strategic balance and demonstrate high-level strategic partnership.
The Russian Defense Ministry, in its turn, said that the drills weren't aimed at "increasing the quality of cooperation between the Russian and the Chinese military" and weren't directed against any third country.
However, the drills come in the wake of North Korea missile launches and a nuclear test in violation of UN resolutions.
Since the beginning of the year, North Korea has conducted a series of missile tests, with the latest taking place on November 28, when Pyongyang tested its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) yet, known as the Hwasong-15, capable of reaching any target within the mainland United States.
Following the launches by North Korea, the US deployed units of the THAAD systems in South Korea.
China and Russia have strongly opposed the deployment, which is designed to intercept short, medium and intermediate ballistic missiles at the terminal incoming stag, citing national security concerns.