situation report

China, Russia: Countries Deploy Naval Assets for Joint Exercise off South African Coast

1 MIN READNov 27, 2019 | 15:05 GMT

Chinese, Russian and South African naval assets are participating in a joint five-day maritime drill near Cape Town, the South China Morning Post reported Nov. 27....

What Happened: Chinese, Russian and South African naval assets are participating in a joint five-day maritime drill near Cape Town, South Africa, the South China Morning Post reported Nov. 27.

Why It Matters: The event marks the first trilateral exercise between the three countries and the first Russian-Chinese drill in Africa as both nations previously restricted their joint naval activities to the Asia-Pacific region and the Baltic Sea. Although the exercise carries little military significance, it underlines a push by Russia and China to expand their power projection capabilities and a strategy by both countries to seek areas of cooperation to push back against Western influence.

Background: Russia and China are interested in increasing their influence across Africa through various means, such as defense cooperation, arms sales and infrastructure spending, among others.

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