China's defense ministry says Russian forces will soon take part in Chinese military drills in the Sea of Japan. The move is apparently aimed at keeping the United States and Japan in check.
The Chinese defense ministry said on Saturday that the military's Northern Theater Command plans to stage the drills in the central region of the Sea of Japan.
The ministry said Russia will dispatch units of its navy and air force. It did not say what types of ships and aircraft will participate, or the exact location of the drills.
The defense ministry said the joint drills are designed to further elevate the coordination capability of the two militaries.
It also said the two countries aim to strengthen their capabilities to jointly safeguard regional peace and stability, and respond to various security challenges.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a statement after their summit in March that the two countries will conduct regular joint patrols and military drills.
In June, the Chinese and Russian defense ministries announced that their air forces have conducted joint patrols over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea.