It has been reported that RUSSIA, Iran and China will today kick off a four-day joint military exercise in the Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean in a bid to bolster ties between the three countries’ navies.
The drills come as President Trump boosts the US military presence in Saudi Arabia by sending extra troops, as global tensions rise. China’s defence ministry said on Thursday said it would take part in the joint operation and downplayed its significance. Beijing will dispatch a guided missile destroyer known as the Xining.
Spokesman for China’s defence ministry Wu Qian described the movements as a “normal military exchange” between the three armed forces.
He stressed the manoeuvres was in keeping with international laws.
Mr Wu said: “It is not necessarily connected with the regional situation.”
Every day around a fifth of the world’s crude oil supply – 20 million barrels – passes through the Strait.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has a heavy presence in the busy 21-mile wide channel.
The waterway was the scene of clashes between Iran and foreign tankers this year.
Part of the operation will be held in the sensitive area of the Gulf of Oman, which is connected to the Strait of Hormuz.
The drills come amid simmering tensions between Iran and the US.