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article imageVideo: Russia & China unite in 'Naval Cooperation 2012'

By Anne Sewell     Apr 23, 2012 in World
Qingdao - Russian-Chinese naval maneuvers are on the go in Qingdao, a port in southern China. 4 Russian warships are docked at a Chinese naval base to cooperate on anti-piracy measures.
Normally the warships are situated in the pirate-infested waters near Somalia, but they are taking a break for joint military drills in the Chinese port.
RT reports that the maneuvers have been dubbed "Naval Cooperation 2012" and began on Sunday this week.
When the Russian convoy traveled from Vladivostok, they were frequently followed by NATO reconnaissance destroyers, submarines and planes. However, both Russia and China were quick to stress that these war games are not being directed against a particular military bloc or country.
The Russian-Chinese exercises have been designed to build on the experiences of the two counter-piracy forces in the Gulf of Aden.
Both sides have been instrumental in assisting ships under attack by pirates and often escort civilian convoys off the Somalian coast.
The Marshal Shaposhnikov, one of the Russian destroyers, was instrumental in saving the oil-tanker Moscow University last year when pirates captured the ship and held 23 Russian sailors hostage.
Russian destroyers are used to guard convoys of from 5 to 14 merchant ships as they travel in the pirate-infested waters and the seamen will now make a joint effort with their Chinese counterparts.
The drills involve 3 Russian destroyers and a missile cruiser, which are joined by 16 Chinese surface ships, including the flagship of China's Northern Fleet, Luhu-class guided missile destroyer Harbin. The Russian destroyers include the Marshal Shaposhnikov, the Admiral Vinogradov and the Admiral Tributs.
Over the next few days, the groundwork will be laid for a joint exercise at sea. Commanders will start the process of painstakingly placing the future locations of the ships on the map.
A Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said: "The exercises will involve several simulated missions, including the rescue of a hijacked ship, the escort of a commercial vessel, and the defense of a convoy from air and sea attacks."
The Russian and Chinese navies will also be discussing joint supply operations and protection of marine lines of communication.
More about Russia, China, somalian coast, Pirates, War games
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