OREANDA-NEWS Russian and Chinese warships kicked off large-scale joint naval patrols and drills in the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Okhotsk on Thursday, with Russia’s Ministry of Defense publishing footage showing an array of vessels involved in the exercise.“Dear comrades! We are pleased to welcome the crews of the warships of the naval forces of the People’s Liberation Army of China on joint maritime patrols,” Primorsky Flotilla Deputy Commander Alexander Bagdasarov said in a radio address to his Chinese counterparts via a translator.“The Chinese side is pleased to welcome the warships of the Russian Navy, and believes this event will ensure stability and security in the Asia-Pacific region,” a People’s Liberation Army Navy representative responded.Drilling carried out during the patrol will include tactical maneuvers, joint communications, artillery firing exercises, and drills involving the flight of naval helicopters.

The Russian warships involved in the exercise include the Marshal Shaposhnikov frigate, four corvettes, and the sea tanker Pechenga support vessel. From the Chinese side, the Nian Chang destroyer, the Yang Chen patrol ship and the Dong Pinghu supply ship are taking part.Thursday’s patrol is the second of its kind since October 2021, which saw a formation of Russian and Chinese vessels passing through Japan’s Tsugaru Strait.Before Thursday’s event, the Russian and Chinese militaries worked out joint measures in the defense of sea lanes in the northern and central Sea of Japan. Those exercises took place during the Vostok-2022 strategic command and staff exercises, which ran from September 1-7.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on Thursday on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit.The Eurasian political, economic and security bloc was formed in 2001 to advance the interests of its members and the region at large. In addition to Russia and China, the SCO has among its members India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, with Iran expected to become a full-fledged member before the summit wraps up Friday.Russia and China have ramped up strategic cooperation in recent years amid both nations’ efforts to gradually undermine the US-led unipolar world order in favor of a system based on mutual respect, fairness and “win-win” cooperation. Both have subsequently faced growing pressure from Washington and its allies, be it via the Ukrainian security crisis in Russia’s case, or escalating tensions surrounding Taiwan in China’s.