Saturday, April 12, 2014

Defense: India, China, Pakistan to take part in joint naval exercises

Source: IRNA

New Delhi, April 12, IRNA -- In a rare show of camaraderie, naval ships of India, China and Pakistan would take part in joint exercises being organised to celebrate the 65th founding anniversary of the Chinese navy.

INS Shivalik, an indigenously built Indian stealth frigate, will take part in the International Fleet Review being organised by the Peopleˈs Liberation Army Navy at the Qingdao port on April 23-24, pti reported quoting the Indian Embassy as said in a statement. The event also included exercises.

Officials say Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is also the head of the PLA, is expected to take part in it.

India has taken part in a similar event organised by the Chinese Navy in connection with its 60th anniversary in 2009.

Significantly, Shivalik will be taking part in the exercises along with a Pakistani naval ship which is also an invitee.

About eight to ten ships of different countries are expected to participate in the event.

The visit of Shivalik to the Chinese port ˈhighlights the friendly exchanges and bilateral defence cooperation between the two countriesˈ, the statement said.

The countries declared this year as a ˈYear of Friendly Exchangesˈ.

This is the second time Shivalik will be visiting a Chinese port. Last year it visited Shanghai along with four other Indian naval ships on a good will tour.

The countries are also looking to step up maritime cooperation. China has invited India to be part of its new Maritime Silk Road initiative.