(Reuters) - China said on Wednesday it would conduct joint naval drills with Russia in the East China Sea off Shanghai in late May, in what it called a bid to deepen military cooperation.
China's defence ministry did not give an exact location in the East China Sea, where Beijing is locked in an increasingly bitter dispute with Japan over the ownership of a group of uninhabited islets.
"These drills are regular exercises held by China and Russia's navies, and the purpose is to deepen practical cooperation between the two militaries, to raise the ability to jointly deal with maritime security threats," the ministry said on its website.
It provided no other details.
China alarmed Japan, South Korea and the United States last year when it announced an air defence identification zone for the East China Sea, covering the islands.
The Beijing government, which is swiftly ramping up military spending, has regularly dispatched patrols to the East China Sea since it established the defence zone.
China was angered last week after U.S. President Barack Obama assured ally Japan that Washington was committed to its defence, including the disputed isles.
China to conduct naval drills with Russia in East China Sea | Reuters
What will the ramifications of this be in possible future conflicts?