MOSCOW, April 15 (RIA Novosti)
Four Russian warships from the Pacific Fleet, as well as support vessels, warplanes, helicopters and naval infantry, will leave Vladivostok on Sunday for a joint exercise with Chinese naval forces, a spokesman for the fleet said.
The Russian Navy will be represented by the guided missile cruiser Varyag, and three large antisubmarine ships in an exercise that is to take place between April 22 and 29 in the Yellow Sea.
“Three antisubmarine vessels and the Varyag will leave the port of Valdivostok today for the exercise. They are expected to be in China on April 22,” the spokesman said.
In all, more than 20 Russian and Chinese warships and support vessels will participate.
Since 2005, China and Russia have conducted several joint military exercises within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
The group also includes the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and aims to promote regional cooperation and check U.S. influence.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.