Russian fleet arrives in China for wargames closely watched by US
AFP | August 1,2 2005
Ships from the Russian Pacific Fleet arrived in the eastern Chinese port of Qingdao Friday for large-scale wargames with ally China that the United States is closing watching.
China and Russia will hold rare joint exercises involving nearly 10,000 troops next week, which the Chinese defence ministry said were aimed at strengthening their ability to fight terrorism and separatism.
The drills from August 18-25 will involve the armies, navies, air forces and other units of the two countries' militaries.
Vessels arriving in Qingdao Friday included anti-submarine ships and landing craft, with a company of marine corps on board, Xinhua news agency said.
On Thursday, eight Russian planes arrived at Qingdao airport, including an A-50 long-range early warning plane, a Su-27 fighter, a Su-24 tactical bomber, a Il-78 aerial refueling plane and four Il-76 transporters.
The drills, known as "Peace Mission 2005", will start at Vladivostok and will later move to the Yellow Sea and the area off the Jiaodong peninsula in eastern China's Shandong province.
They have aroused keen interest in Washington, which will attempt to monitor them.
"Clearly, there's interest in anything that affects the security in the Pacific regions," Brigadier General Carter Ham of the US Joint Staff said last week.
"So PACOM (Pacific Command) is keenly interested in that and will monitor that to the extent possible."