On Dec. 22, Russian and Chinese naval forces engaged in joint military drills in the East China Sea, the latest in a series of exercises that showcase the deepening defense ties between the two countries, Associated Press reported.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said the Varyag missile cruiser, the Marshal Shaposhnikov destroyer, and two corvette warships from Russia’s Pacific Fleet participated in the drills, which began the day before. China deployed two destroyers, a diesel submarine, and other ships for the exercise, the report said. Moscow’s and Beijing’s aircraft also participated in the maneuvers, which included firing exercises and anti-submarine drills, according to the ministry.
The previous day, Russia’s Deputy Chairman of the Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, travelled to China for an unannounced meeting with President Xi Jinping. According to Reuters, Medvedev and Xi discussed the “no limits” strategic partnership between Moscow and Beijing, as well as Russia’s war in Ukraine, though Medvedev did not provide further details.
Medvedev’s trip occurred as President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Washington for talks with U.S. President Joe Biden. Before the face-to-face meeting with Zelensky, the Biden administration announced a new $1.85 billion military aid package for Ukraine, including the first long-sought Patriot air defense system.