China and Pakistan begin coordinated naval and aviation drills to address maritime threats with an eye on the

All-season companions As their fleets increased cooperation in India’s backyard, the Indian Ocean, China and Pakistan on Sunday began their “Sea Guardians-2” manoeuvres off the coast of Shanghai by deploying their brand-new, cutting-edge navy ships and fighter jets to “jointly cope with maritime security threats.”

In mid-July, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy and the Pakistan Navy will conduct a cooperative naval exercise in maritime and aerial regions off Shanghai, according to a statement from Captain Liu Wensheng, a PLA Navy spokesperson.

According to local government media, the two navies held an opening ceremony for the Sea Guardian manoeuvres on Sunday.

According to Liu, the exercise is a “regular arrangement on an annual schedule, and it is not directed at a third party.”

According to the Pakistan Navy’s frigate Taimur, the PLA Eastern Theatre Command Navy dispatched the frigate Xiangtan, the corvette Shuozhou, the comprehensive supply ship Qiandaohu, a submarine, an early warning aircraft, two fighter jets, and a helicopter for the practise.

Taimur is the second of four powerful Type 054A/P frigates built by China. It was delivered to the Pakistan Navy in Shanghai on June 23. The first ship in the Type 054A/P-class, the Tughril, joined the Pakistan Navy Fleet in January, according to the daily’s report.

Themed “jointly dealing with maritime security threats,” the exercise will feature training courses including the joint strike against maritime targets, joint tactical manoeuvring, joint anti-submarine warfare and joint support for damaged vessels, Liu said.

The drill’s goal is to enhance defence cooperation, conduct professional and technical exchanges, deepen traditional friendship between the two countries and the two navies, and promote the development of the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between China and Pakistan, Liu said.

According to Wei Dongxu, a Chinese military analyst, the two nations must strengthen their collaboration in these areas as they face non-traditional security concerns including piracy and maritime terrorism in areas like the Indian Ocean.

According to Wei, the two nations also need to work together to show that they are capable of defending important shipping channels used to transfer products and energy. The first “Sea Guardians” drill took place in the North Arabian Sea off Karachi in January 2020.

Due to the presence of important Indian ports like Kandla, Okha, Mumbai, Mormugao, New Mangalore, and Kochi in the Arabian Sea region, it is strategically significant.

China has established a logistics base at Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, which provides access to the Indian Ocean.

Observers claim that as China gradually increased its naval footprint in India’s backyard, the Indian Ocean, Sino-Pakistan military cooperation in recent years has centred more on the Navy.

China has purchased Pakistan’s Gwadar port in the Arabian Sea, which connects with China’s Xinjiang province by land in the USD 60 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor, in addition to constructing its first military station in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa in the Indian Ocean (CPEC).

The Hambantota port in Sri Lanka is also being developed by China after it purchased a 99-year lease on it.

It was anticipated that the Chinese Navy’s presence in the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea would be strengthened by the modernization of the Pakistani Navy and the acquisition of the naval sites.

According to Chinese commentators, the freshly delivered Taimur’s participation in the manoeuvres demonstrates its high level of technical maturity, the success of the Pakistani sailors’ training, and the depth of experience gathered by the Tughril.

The Type 054A, on which the Type 054A/P is based, is China’s most sophisticated frigate, according to Zhang Junshe, a senior research fellow at the PLA’s Naval Military Studies Research Institute.

As part of attempts to modernise the Pakistan Navy, Chief Admiral M Amjad Khan Niazi previously told Chinese media that Pakistan would also be receiving eight Chinese submarines in addition to the four modern navy frigates.

In 2017, the Pakistan Navy hired China to build four Type 054A/P frigates for it.

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