The Chinese and Russian navies are gearing up for their largest-ever joint exercises, slated to begin Thursday in the Pacific with more than 20 ships and featuring anti-submarine operations as well as a joint-beach landing.

The “Joint Sea 2015 II” exercises will run through Aug. 28 in the Sea of Japan and off the coast of Vladivostok.

While analysts say the operations have increased in size and sophistications during recent years, the Chinese and Russian navies have held five such joint exercises over the past decade.

But in the current round of exercises, Chinese frigates have reportedly made their first-ever visit to the Russian Novorossiysk naval base in the Black Sea.

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