14:17 GMT +315 October 2019
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    In this April 26, 2012 file photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, Chinese navy's missile destroyer DDG-112 Harbin fires a shell during the China-Russia joint naval exercise in the Yellow Sea

    Russia, China Plan First-Ever Joint Naval Drills in Mediterranean

    © AP Photo / Xinhua, Wu Dengfeng, File
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    Russia and China will for the first time hold joint naval drills in the Mediterranean Sea next month, according to a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of National Defense.

    Chinese National Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said that Moscow and Beijing will for the first time hold joint naval drills in the Mediterranean Sea in mid-May 2015, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency reported.

    "According to plans by the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China, the two countries' navies will hold joint military exercises codenamed Sea Cooperation-2015 in the Mediterranean Sea in mid-May," Yansheng said.

    According to him, the exercise will involve nine ships from each side.

    "The exercises mainly include defense and escort-related drilling at sea, as well as ensuring the safety of maritime transport," Yansheng explained.

    The purpose of the drills is to deepen bilateral friendly cooperation and strengthen the combat capability of the two countries in order to repulse threats to maritime safety.

    In this connection, Yansheng added that the exercises are not directed against third countries and not related to the situation in the region.

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    Tags:
    purpose, naval drills, plans, combat capability, cooperation, China, Russia
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