28 October 2018
The first Asean-China Maritime Field Training Exercise ended yesterday, as participants hailed the strides made in cooperation between Asean and Chinese navies.
It focused on maritime safety, with a joint search-and-rescue mission – one of the highlights of the six-day exercise – carried out in the waters off Zhanjiang in China’s southern Guangdong province.
In a speech at the closing ceremony at Ma Xie Naval Base, Vice-Admiral Wang Hai, Commander of Naval Force, Southern Theatre Command, said the exercise showed a “new level of strategic cooperation between China and Asean”. He added that “together, we compose a new chapter for the pragmatic naval exchange among countries surrounding the South China Sea”.
… Maritime specialist Collin Koh, a research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, believes there is still much merit to the exercise beyond its “obvious political symbolism”.
“It’s at least an effort made by both sides to come together… Involving participating navies with varying capabilities, capacities, readiness levels is no easy feat.”
IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 29/10/2018