China participates in Pakistan’s naval drills in a big way


BEIJING: Chinese ships participated in Pakistan’s multinational naval exercise in a big way, demonstrating their long-term cooperative partnership in the maritime sector.

Chinese media extensively reported Pakistan’s naval drills held for AMAN 19, highlighting the significance of the event, in pushing forward the two countries’ joint collaboration in strengthening their defence capabilities.

China People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLA Navy) was most prominent in the sixth Pakistan-led multinational maritime naval drills that were participated by navies and observers from 46 countries.

The PLA Navy has participated in all previous AMAN exercises. A commander of the PLA Navy who requested anonymity said that this time, the PLA Navy sent two warships from the 998 Fleet to participate in the exercise, which consists of a Kunlunshan amphibious transport dock and the supply ship Luomahu.

The two Chinese warships and more than 500 Chinese naval soldiers were engaged in joint exercises, which included anti-piracy exercises and maritime interception.

“The exercises provided not only medium security challenges but also enhanced interoperability among navies at different levels of technological power to come together and secure a safe and sustainable maritime environment,” said Chinese media quoting Chief of the Pakistani Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, who also thanked all participants who have traveled great distances in pursuit of peace.

The concept of the exercises was to develop responses, tactics, techniques and procedures (RTTPs) against non-traditional threats through tactical warfare planning, according to the Pakistan Navy.

Starting in 2007, AMAN exercise has regularly been conducted every two years (AMAN 15 was not held in 2015 due to some operational commitments of the Pakistan Navy).

This year’s edition was scheduled from February 8 to 12, where over 45 countries are participating with ships and observers.

The exercises had two major phases: harbour and sea phases. Harbour activities include seminars, discussions and demonstrations. A three-day international maritime conference also held on the topic “Global geopolitics in transition and rethinking maritime dynamics in the Indian Ocean region”.

Maritime activities included high-end warfare serials at sea, such as naval gunfire, anti-piracy, operations, combined anti-submarine exercises, communications, boarding and air defence.