The Biden administration and National Security Council say they closely monitored multiple days of rare joint naval drills between China, Russia, and Iran held in the Gulf of Oman. The “Security Bond-2023” exercises took place from Wednesday through Saturday and were focused on deepening “practical cooperation between the participating countries’ navies and inject positive energy into regional peace and stability,” according to China’s Defense Ministry. The allies confirmed the exercises concluded on Saturday and hailed their ‘success’.
Iranian state as well as Russian media published and circulated footage of the drills, which involved joint warship manoeuvres, deployment of aircraft, and day and night artillery firing.
While it’s not the first time the Russians and Chinese have trained together in or near the Persian Gulf region, it’s another sign of deepening cooperation after they declared their ‘no limits partnership’ in February 2022.
The timing of the drills also came days before Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to arrive in Moscow to meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to discuss the war in Ukraine, and possible paths toward peace negotiations.