China and Pakistan concluded a nine-day mega-navy exercise on January 14, performing joint exercises and naval maneuvers in the North Arabian Sea in advance.
The sixth exercise “Sea Guardians” took place amid increased tension between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir issue. The exercise included key platforms from both China and Pakistan, including submarines, destroyers, and frigates.
Vice Admiral Dong Jun was Deputy Commander of the Southern Theater Command People’s Liberation Army (Navy), main guest at the closing ceremony at Karachi’s maritime shipyard. Pakistan Commander Fleet, Vice Admiral Asif Khaliq was also present, the Pakistani Navy said in a statement.
During the exercise, Pakistan Navy and PLA (Navy) Flotilla consisting of naval platforms and assets together with Marines Corps Detachments carried out joint exercises and maritime maneuvers in advance in the North Arabian Sea.
The port and sea activities of the exercise were also seen by senior officials from both Marines.
Exercise Sea Guardians-2020 is designed to share professional experiences about contemporary and non-traditional threats and to improve bilateral cooperation and interoperability between the two navies.
During the ceremony, Vice Admiral Khaliq expressed his satisfaction with the “mutually beneficial and professionally rewarding behavior of the exercise.”
Southern Theater Command PLA vice commander, Vice Admiral Dong, hoped that the exercise would further improve bilateral relations and cooperation in general and the navy in particular.
India had deployed its aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya in the Arabian Sea when China and Pakistan held the nine-day mega-navy exercise in the region.
China has expanded its presence in the North Arabian Sea and is developing Pakistan’s deep-water Gwadar port in the region.
Gwadar is connected to the Chinese province of Xinjiang via the more than $ 60 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and offers an important land route to China for access to the Arabian Sea.
The Arabian Sea offers access to the Indian Ocean, where China has built a logistics base in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa.
In September, the Indian navy expelled a Chinese PLA ship from India’s exclusive economic zone and had warned that such activities would be strictly addressed.
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