China and Russia on Friday announced the “opening of the first joint military patrol” in the western Pacific Ocean to “fight terrorism and piracy,” according to a Russian defense ministry official.
Russia’s chief of general staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov and his Chinese counterpart Lt. Gen. Wei Fenghe held a meeting on the sidelines of the four-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Papua New Guinea where the announcement was made.
The joint patrol of the two countries was carried out on Dec. 22, Gen. Gerasimov told Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.
The two countries plan to conduct future joint patrol by land, air and sea, Russia’s state news agency TASS reported on Friday.
Meanwhile, during the APEC forum, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a security group dominated by China, would “improve both physical and strategic security along its borders.”
Xi added that SCO member states have made great strides in peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts.
Russia and China say they want to improve relations with the U.S. on the basis of equality, despite deep disagreements over President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, ending a Cold War-era arms control agreement.