China's navy is stepping up foreign exchanges and cooperation to cope with non-traditional security threats in oceans, Navy Commander Adm. Wu Shengli said in Beijing Wednesday.
Since the new century, the Chinese navy has conducted 37 joint military drills with its foreign counterparts in areas including non-proliferation of weapons of destruction, security defense of sea-land-air channels, anti-terrorism and joint search and rescue, Wu said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.
"To cope with the non-traditional security threats in the vast sea environment, exchanges and effective cooperation among the navies of different countries are a must," Wu said one week ahead of the navy's 60th founding anniversary.
He said such joint military exercises were expanding in frequency and scale and covering a widening variety of fields.
The Chinese navy held its first joint exercise in October 2003, when the Chinese and Pakistani naval forces conducted a joint search and rescue exercise off the coast of Shanghai in the East China Sea.
In March 2009, Chinese naval destroyer Guangzhou joined a 10-day multinational "Peace 09" military exercise at the Arabia Sea off the southern Pakistani port of Karachi. During the operation, the Chinese navy sent for the first time special forces to take part in a land anti-terror drill, expanding its sea anti-terror cooperation to new spheres, Wu said.
According to the commander, since 1985, the Chinese navy has also sent more than 40 warships to more than 30 countries for friendship visits, and received more than 100 ships from 30 foreign countries.
Wu said Chinese naval delegations have visited Russia, the United States, Britain, France and Pakistan, among others, in recent years. They exchanged views on peace and development and tackling non-traditional security threats on the sea, and signed a number of bilateral and multilateral cooperation agreements.
"The Chinese navy is playing an increasingly important role in safeguarding world sea peace," he said.