In a demonstration of the Chinese navy’s expanding global reach, the country’s latest-generation warships conducted live-firing drills in the Mediterranean Sea this week while en route to joint exercises with the Russian navy, the defense ministry said Wednesday. The destroyer Hefei, frigate Yuncheng and support ship Luomahu took part in Monday’s drills involving the ship’s deck guns and small arms, the ministry said in a notice on its website. “Maintaining a strict schedule

of targeted exercises accomplishes transit, training and improvement en route, raising the flotilla’s training levels and capabilities,” it quote flotilla commander Liu Hui as saying. The ships will next take part in the “Joint Sea 2017” exercises in waters off the Russian cities of St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad, part of growing cooperation between the countries’ militaries. READ MORE