PLA Navy's 70th Anniversary: Russia-China naval cooperation has a great future


Russian naval ship Admiral Vinogradov enters the port of Manila, the Philippines, April 8, 2019. (Photo: CGTN)

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the founding of China's navy, ships from all over the world will participate in the naval parade in Qingdao, hosted by China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy. 

Russia will also send two of its naval ships to take part in the joint maneuvers with the PLA Navy.

The two Russian destroyers were seen entering Manila port for a drill with the Philippines Navy earlier this month, just days before they arrive in the Chinese port of Qingdao on the Shandong Peninsula for the naval exercises.

It was another show of the might of Russia's resurgent navy. 

Rising from the ashes of USSR

Just years ago, because of a crippling state of its vessels and lack of funding, the Russian Navy was confined only to areas near its territorial waters. 

In 2012, a decision was made to spend over 770 billion U.S. dollars on the massive military rearmament program. Since then, a good portion of that money has poured into the upgrading of the Russian Navy.

The aim is to protect and deter any possible threats coming from abroad, particularly from its Soviet-era rival, the U.S., which boasts of having the world's largest navy. 

As Davor Domazet, retired Admiral of Croatian Navy told CGTN, Russia had to be creative [as] with limited funds they have to balance U.S.'s superior maritime power.

"They cannot build aircraft carriers as a symmetric response to the U.S. Navy. So, they've chosen an asymmetric response, to develop a system that can destroy U.S. aircraft carrier strike group anywhere. And that did happen." Admiral Domazet said.

Systems in question are the new hypersonic missile Kinzhal and Kalibr cruise missile, Poseidon underwater drone and several new types of submarines. 

The Russian submarine fleet has existed since Soviet times and regarded as the most crucial element of the navy. Today, Russia continues that tradition, which is based on the unique tasks its naval forces have to accomplish, the most important of which is to have a strategic nuclear deterrence.

Strength through collaboration

In the Barents Sea and the White Sea, Russia's latest submarines can be often seen conducting their trials as well as testing new weapons systems. Also, the pace of upgrading Russia's naval might is unprecedented. 

According to analysts, the Russian Navy is focused on flexing its muscles because of new challenges it currently faces. One of which is the need to control and protect the so-called North Sea Route, that opened in the Arctic due to global warming. 

In the face of rising global threats, Russia is keen on closing the ranks with China's PLA and its Navy. 

In Moscow, CGTN spoke with Igor Korotchenko, a retired colonel of the Russian Army and the head of Center for Analysis of Global Weapons Trade, about this crucial partnership. 

"Our military contacts are developing successfully and dynamically. We have good relations between our two defense ministers just as between the presidents of our countries. In that aspect, I think that in the area of joint missions where Russian Army and the Chinese PLA can complement each other, our mutual collaboration has a great future." Korotchenko said.

Russian Navy's participation in Qingdao naval parade is one more example of that collaboration.