China said it will hold naval exercises with Russia and South Africa later this month to protect maritime economic activities.
The drills will be held Feb. 20-27 off Durban and Richards Bay, South Africa, the Defense Ministry in Beijing said in a statement on Sunday, adding China would send a destroyer, a frigate and a supply vessel.
The operations are also intended to promote defense and security cooperation among BRICS members, the ministry said.
The drills come as the US warned China against providing lethal aid to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, in Munich on Saturday the US had information China was considering whether to give Russia assistance, possibly including guns and other weapons.