Russia and China have been increasing their military cooperation throughout 2013, and in early July this growing partnership included extensive training off the coast of Vladivostok and in the Sea of Japan. Dubbed “Joint-Sea 2013,” the Sino-Russian event was China’s largest-ever foreign naval exercise and reportedly included the flagship of the Russian Pacific Fleet, the Slava-class guided-missile cruiser Varyag (pictured here), at least one Russian submarine, and ten additional Russian naval ships. Land-based Su-24 strike fighters were also said to have taken part in the exercise. Participating Chinese naval assets included at least four guided-missile destroyers, two frigates, a support ship, and several aircraft. Once Chinese forces left the region, Russia’s armed forces kicked off an even larger series of military maneuvers involving more than 150,000 personnel, 70 ships, 1,000 armored vehicles, and 100 military aircraft including strategic bombers.
By Eric Wertheim