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China, Pakistan maritime exercise to conduct live-fire drill

Shanghai [China], July 11 (ANI): The navies of China and Pakistan will commence a live-fire drill Tuesday as part of a four-day joint maritime exercise codenamed Sea Guardians-2.

Fleets participating in the drill will set off from a military port in Shanghai for the scheduled sea area, Xinhua news agency reported.

The joint exercise aims to enhance defence cooperation, exchange expertise and experience, deepen the traditional friendship between the two countries and militaries, and promote the development of the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partnership, the report said.

Professional and technical exchanges, tug-of-war, and basketball matches took place on Monday. This four-day joint maritime exercise between China and Pakistan kicked off at a military port in Shanghai on Sunday.

The drill, codenamed Sea Guardians-2, is a normal arrangement as per a yearly plan between the two militaries, said Liu Wensheng, spokesperson for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy.

Liu noted that it is not related to any regional situations and does not target any third party.

The exercise will feature training courses including a joint strike against maritime targets, joint tactical maneuvering, joint anti-submarine warfare and joint support for damaged vessels, the spokesperson said.

The exercise will be held in the waters and airspace off Shanghai from July 10 to 13, and consists of two phases, i.e., port planning and maritime exercise.

“China and Pakistan face non-traditional security threats including piracy and maritime terrorists in regions like the Indian Ocean, so it has become necessary that the two countries enhance cooperation in these aspects,” Wei Dongxu, a Chinese military expert, told the Global Times on Sunday.

“China and Pakistan enjoy a high level of strategic mutual trust, and the two countries’ militaries engage in all types of exchanges. Now that the Pakistan Navy has commissioned more, advanced frigates, it has gained enhanced capabilities in distant waters, enabling it to conduct more joint activities with China that can further enhance the two countries’ mutual trust and fulfill international responsibilities,” Wei said.

Although Beijing claims that the drill is not directed against any third country but analysts believe that the exercise is being conducted keeping India in mind. (ANI)

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