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Russian, Chinese warships hold first joint patrols in the Pacific

i24NEWS

2 min read
Russian missile cruiser Varyag, with the Russian navy destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov in the rear, on patrol in eastern Mediterranean on January 21, 2016.
(Vadim Savitsky/Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)Russian missile cruiser Varyag, with the Russian navy destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov in the rear, on patrol in eastern Mediterranean on January 21, 2016.

The naval drills held amid increasing tensions with the West is the latest sign of a growing alignment

Russian and Chinese warships held their first joint patrols in the Western part of the Pacific ocean on October 17-23, Russia's defense ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

Moscow and Beijing, which staged naval cooperation drills in the Sea of Japan earlier in October, have cultivated closer military and diplomatic ties in recent years at a time when their relations with the West have soured. 

"The group of ships passed through the Tsugaru Strait for the first time as part of the patrol," Russia's defense ministry said in the statement.  

"The tasks of the patrols were the demonstration of the Russian and Chinese state flags, maintaining of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, and guardianship of the subjects of maritime economic activities of the two countries," the ministry added.

Tensions between China and the West have soared in recent months as Beijing steps up air incursions near Taiwan, a self-ruling democracy that the growing Asian power has vowed one day to take over, by force if necessary.

Last week, China tested a hypersonic missile that completed a circuit of the planet before landing.

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