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China, Russia prepare for military drill

April 21, 2012 at 3:39 PM

QINGDAO, China, April 21 (UPI) -- Russian ships arrived at a naval base in eastern China's Shandong province Saturday ahead of a joint exercise with the Chinese navy, officials said.

The military exercise is scheduled for Sunday through April 27 in the Yellow Sea, RIA Novosti reported.

Four warships from the Russian navy's Pacific fleet and three supply ships arrived at the Qingdao base and are to join 16 Chinese surface ships in the exercise, Xinhua reported.

The Chinese navy is to send vessels including destroyers, frigates, support and hospital ships as well as two submarines.

The exercise will focus on joint maritime air defense, anti-submarine tactics, maritime search-and-rescue and a joint effort to rescue hijacked vessels, China's Defense Ministry said.

Aircraft and special force units from the two countries will also be deployed in an anti-terrorism task as part of the exercise.

Chinese army chief Gen. Chen Bingde said the drills will promote "strategic coordination" and "mutual trust" between China and Russia.

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