China and Russia are planning on conducting the largest naval exercise between the two countries in history, and their navies are expected to meet sometime this week in the Pacific. The exercises are to start Aug. 28 involving more than 20 ships.
Peter the Great Bay, which is the official location of the exercises off of the Sea of Japan, sits just north of North Korea. The Sea of Japan is bordered by Japan, North Korea, South Korea and Russia. The Chinese navy has not so far taken part in any exercises in the area.
"A source close to the operation said navies of the two countries will join forces to simulate anti-submarine combat and air defense and other relevant missions. A joint beach landing of troops is also planned," a report in a Chinese state-controlled Xinhua news service read. "The source said the drills 'are not targeted at any third party and are not relevant to regional status-quo.'"
The exercises are the second military partnership between the two countries this year under what is known as the Joint Sea 2015 program. When the exercises were announced last year, the Russian defense minister indicated the United States was a motivator for Russia and China to work together with military-on-military exercises. The two countries have been working closely for the last several years to boost military readiness.
At the same time, tensions between Russia and NATO, which includes the United States, in Europe have been getting tight. Easch side have been ramping up its military preparedness, and some think tanks have begun to call the actions the biggest buildup of military tension in the area since the Cold War. Tensions between the United States and China have been called tense lately; however, leaders from both countries have indicated conflict is not ideal for either side.