Beijing. With enhanced naval cooperation in the Indian Ocean, all-time friends China and Pakistan on Sunday began exercise ‘Sea Guardian-2’ off the Shanghai coast by deploying their new high-tech naval ships and fighter jets to jointly deal with maritime security threats. did. China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy spokesman Captain Liu Wensheng said in a statement that the PLA Navy and Pakistan Navy personnel will conduct joint naval exercises in the maritime and airfields off Shanghai in mid-July.
The two navies on Sunday held an opening ceremony for the second edition of exercise ‘Sea Guardian’. Liu said the exercise is “a general arrangement as per the annual schedule and is not aimed against any third party.” According to the government-controlled newspaper ‘Global Times’, the PLA’s Eastern Theater Command Navy sent warships Jiangtan, Shuozhou, supply ship Qiandaohu, a submarine, a warning aircraft, two fighter aircraft and a helicopter for the exercise, while the Pakistan Navy’s Ship Taimur joined the exercise.
‘Promoting strategic partnership between China and Pakistan’
Liu said the exercise, with the theme of ‘jointly dealing with maritime security threats’, will include training exercises including joint strikes against maritime targets, joint tactical maneuvers, joint anti-submarine warfare and joint cooperation for damaged ships. Liu said the exercise aims to enhance defense cooperation, promote professional and technical exchanges, deepen the traditional friendship between the two countries and the two navies, and promote the strategic partnership between China and Pakistan.
‘Piracy and terrorist threat in the Indian Ocean’
Chinese military expert Wei Dongxu told the ‘Global Times’ that China and Pakistan face non-traditional security threats including piracy and maritime terrorism in areas like the Indian Ocean, so it has become necessary that both countries take these directions. Increase cooperation in Wei said the two countries need to jointly demonstrate their capabilities in protecting strategic maritime routes that transport energy and goods.
Sino-Pakistan military cooperation pays more attention to navy
The first edition of the ‘Sea Guardian’ exercise was conducted in the North Arabian Sea off Karachi in January 2020. The Arabian Sea region is strategically important as major Indian ports including Kandla, Okha, Mumbai, New Mangalore and Kochi are located there. Analysts say China-Pakistan military cooperation in recent years has focused more on the navy as China has gradually increased its naval presence in the Indian Ocean.
FIRST PUBLISHED : July 11, 2022, 01:16 IST