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Russia says its navy ready to meet Xi-Putin in joint patrol with China

Russian and Chinese Navies are conducting joint patrols in the Pacific Ocean, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday, deepening military and diplomatic ties between Moscow and Beijing after their relations with the West soured.

A ministry statement on Telegram said crews from both sides were conducting joint tactical maneuvers and exercises involving artillery and helicopters.

“Patrol tasks include strengthening naval cooperation between Russia and China, maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, coastal surveillance and protecting Russian and Chinese maritime economic sites,” it said.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping is due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Uzbekistan on Thursday to discuss Ukraine and Taiwan, the Chinese president’s first foreign visit in more than two years.

The deep “no boundaries” partnership between China’s rising superpower and Russia’s natural resources titan is a geopolitical development the West is watching with concern.

Warships from Russia and China conducted their first joint patrol of the western Pacific Ocean in October last year, a move closely monitored by Japan, who called the maneuver “unusual”.

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