KARACHI: Standing on the deck of a Pakistani warship and pointing to the blue waters of the Arabian Sea, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said: "China-Pakistan relations are deeper than this sea."
Musharraf, who was witnessing a multinational naval exercise, said on Saturday that like the relationship between the two countries, the ties between the navies of Pakistan and China are also strong.
He added the two navies must cooperate for peace and security on the seas.
"This is an excellent exercise. It has a great tactical and operational value for the navy; they learn when they integrate exercises with so many countries," he said.
The participation of a large number of countries observers from 27 nations and physical participation of eight bears testimony to the fact that Pakistan is determined to work with other peace-loving nations to make the seas safe and secure, Musharraf said.
Reviewing warships and an aerial display in the major exercise hosted by the Pakistan navy codenamed "Aman 07", he said the drills also send a strong message to terrorists that they are not allowed to disrupt peace and security in the world.
At the invitation of the Pakistan navy, the Chinese navy sent two frigates with more than 400 naval personnel on board and joined most programs in the maneuvers.
Although it is the first time that the Chinese navy participated in such a multinational naval exercise, the task force showed its professionalism by organizing the search and rescue part of the military exercise.
The two Chinese frigates Lianyungang and Sanming will leave Karachi Navy Dockyard tomorrow and take about two weeks before returning home with a stopover in Indonesia.
It is the first time that Chinese navy vessels have traveled so far without being accompanied by a replenishment tanker.
"It gives us a chance to learn how to survive without food and oil in a big tanker floating nearby," said Commander Wei Xiaodong, who is also the Chinese observer for the week-long exercise.
"To refuel our warships, we have to coordinate well with foreign ports along the route," Wei said.
In its 7,000-km-plus journey from East China's Zhejiang Province to Karachi in southern Pakistan, the frigates stopped for 6 hours in Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka, for replenishment.
Source: China Daily