China and Russia kicked off their second joint computer-assisted anti-missile drill on Monday, a move experts said could deter potential missile threats amid rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The drill began on Monday in Beijing and is expected to conclude on Saturday, China"s Defense Ministry said on its website on Monday. "This is a practical measure in fulfilling the important consensus reached by both countries" leaders on deepening Sino-Russian antimissile cooperation," it said.
"It will strengthen Sino-Russian mutual strategic trust, improve anti-missile cooperation between the two militaries and has great significance in jointly dealing with regional ballistic and cruise missile threats," the ministry said.
The exercise does not target any third party, it said. "China and Russia oppose the development of global anti-missile systems. The two militaries will increase practical cooperation in anti-missile defense, and jointly safeguard Chinese and Russian security interests and regional strategic balance."
The goal of the exercise is to "jointly train for anti-missile combat planning and preparation, launch command and firing coordination," Senior Colonel Wu Qian, the Defense Ministry spokesman, said in a news briefing in November.
Tension on the Korean Peninsula has been mounting since the Democratic People"s Republic of Korea launched its Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile in November. DPRK media reported the missile could carry nuclear warheads and reach the continental United States.
Su Hao, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs Academy, said that it is crucial for China and Russia to bolster strategic trust and cooperate in anti-missile defense to protect their nations from potential threats.