China and Russia start joint military exercises in Sea of Japan
Russia and China will conduct joint military exercises called North/Interaction-2023 in the Sea of Japan, in which the naval and air forces of both countries will participate
Reuters writes about it.
According to a statement from China's defense ministry, its naval flotilla left the eastern port of Qingdao on July 16 to join the Russian navy and air force in the Sea of Japan in a joint exercise aimed at "protecting the security of strategic waterways".
The Chinese flotilla consists of five warships and four naval helicopters.
The drills, codenamed North/Interaction 2023, are said to mark increased military cooperation between China and Russia following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine and are being held as Beijing continues to reject US calls to restore military communications. The Ministry of Defense of the People's Republic of China reported that joint exercises with the Russian Federation will be held in the Sea of Japan.
It is clarified that for the first time two Russian warships Gromky and Sovershenny will take part in the exercises.
Reuters recalled that the day before, the head of the Joint Headquarters of the Chinese Central Military Commission, Liu Zhenli, held a video call with the chief of the General Staff of the Russian Federation Valery Gerasimov, during which the parties confirmed their commitment to strengthen military ties.
China's position on the war in Ukraine
On 24 February, Beijing published a document with its position on a political settlement in Ukraine. The so-called Chinese peace plan describes Russia's war against Ukraine as "crisis".
In May, Chinese special envoy Li Hui visited Ukraine and spoke with President Zelenskyy. Later, he travelled to Moscow and a number of European countries to present his "peace plan". The WSJ wrote that during the tour, China's special envoy called for an immediate end to the war in Ukraine by giving the seized territories to Russia. However, later the Chinese diplomat denied this information.
On 2 June, Li Hui also said that he had seen Ukraine and Russia's readiness for negotiations.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman stated that China did not provide military or any other assistance to Russia in the war against Ukraine.
On June 26, China expressed support for Russia in ensuring the stability and development of the country, commenting on the incident with the Wagner PMC, which tried to rebel against the Kremlin.
On 27 June, Chinese Ambassador to the EU, Fu Cong, when asked about supporting Ukraine's 1991 borders, said: "I don't see why not". The Chinese Foreign Ministry reacted to the statement of its diplomat with restraint.
On June 30, the European Union appealed to China to pressure Russia to withdraw its troops from the territory of Ukraine without any conditions.