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Russia, China Each Commit Six Ships To East China Sea Exercises

Russian military officials say the Russian and Chinese navies will each commit six ships to joint exercises scheduled in the East China Sea before the end of May.

The Russian Pacific Fleet’s press service said in a statement on May 13 that its contribution will include the Varyag missile cruiser as well as an antisubmarine ship and a large amphibious ship.

The Russian detachment, led by the Varyag, is expected to sail out of the naval port of Vladivostok on May 14.

China’s Defense Ministry says they exercises are called “Jointly At Sea 2014” and follow similar maneuvers in 2013 off Russia’s Far East coast.

China and Japan are currently locked in a dispute over a small uninhabited string of islets in the East China Sea that are administered by Japan.

They are known in Japan as the Senkaku Islands, but are called the Diaoyu Islands by China.

The row peaked in 2012 when Tokyo bought some more islands in the archipelago.

China also angered many countries when it said in December 2013 that it was establishing an air-defense zone above the disputed islands.
Based on reporting by AP, AFP, Interfax, Itar-Tass, and Xinhua