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Largest-ever China-Russia naval drill

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China and Russia kicked off their largest-ever joint naval drills on Friday in the Sea of Japan, a further sign of the broad-based progress in ties between the former Cold War era rivals. Eighteen surface ships, one submarine, three airplanes, five ship-launched helicopters and two commando units were taking part in the “Joint Sea-2013” exercise that runs through July 12. The drills will cover anti-submarine warfare, close manoeuvring, and the simulated take-over of an enemy ship. The drills are bigger than anything China’s navy has previously held with a foreign partner. China has long been a key customer for Russian military hardware, but only in the last decade have their militaries begun training jointly. The naval drills are to be followed by another round of anti-terrorism joint drills in Russia’s Ural Mountain region of Chelyabinsk . — AP

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