There are good, simple reasons for the joint naval exercises in the waters off Europe. But Moscow and Beijing also ain’t above a little swagger.

Why Are Chinese and Russian Ships Prowling the Mediterranean?

Source: FP

On May 11, nine ships from the Russian Navy and China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) kicked off 10 days of combined exercises in the Mediterranean Sea, for their first joint naval war games in European waters. What does this nautical confab, dubbed “Joint Sea 2015,” entail? “Maritime defense, maritime replenishment, escort actions, joint operations to safeguard navigation security as well as real weapon firing drill,” according to Sr. Col. Geng Yansheng, a spokesman for China’s Defense Ministry. The aim of the exercises is to “further deepen friendly and practical interaction between the two countries,” maintained the Russian Defense Ministry. Moscow added that the drills “are not aimed against any third country.”

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