|Soldiers on the Chinese naval ship put out a fire on another ship during the multi-country maritime exercises off the coast of Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, April 23, 2014. Nineteen ships, seven helicopters and marine corps from eight countries including China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Singapore, Indonesia, India, Malaysia and Brunei were organized into three task forces to conduct the exercises dubbed "Maritime Cooperation - 2014". (Xinhua)|
Multilateral drill marks navy's 65th birthday
China holds Maritime Cooperation
Regional naval code inked
China and seven foreign countries on Wednesday held a multinational maritime exercise marking the 65th founding anniversary of the People's Liberation Army navy (PLA navy) in East China's port city of Qingdao.
This is the first time the PLA navy has organized a multilateral maritime exercise.
The joint drill, called Maritime Cooperation 2014, is focused on joint research and rescue with the purpose of enhancing cooperation and the joint ability to deal with maritime disasters.
Chinese navy forces, mainly from the North Sea Fleet, and seven navy ships from countries including India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Bangladesh and Malaysia took part in the exercise.
The drill featured in the 14th Western Pacific Naval Symposium that closed Wednesday.
The symposium also attached importance to discussing the method and code of conducting search and rescue efforts against the backdrop of the missing MH370 and South Korea's sunken ferry Sewol.
Fan Changlong, vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission, said on Wednesday at the symposium that the concerns over a new maritime hegemony formed by China are unnecessary. However, no country should expect China to swallow "bitter pills" when it comes to infringement of China's sovereignty, Fan further added.
Admiral Asif Sandila, chief of naval staff of the Pakistan Navy, told the Global Times that China has the right to develop a powerful navy, especially given its expanding overseas interests in recent years.
Commander-in-chief of the Chilean Navy Admiral Enrique Larranaga told the Global Times that the Chinese navy has certainly become one of the most powerful in the world.
Larranaga disagreed with the term "aggressive" when it comes to portraying the PLA navy.
"Every country has their own interests and they have to defend their interests. China is working in that direction as we all are," Larranaga said.
Separately, Rear Admiral Yin Zhuo, director of the Advisory Committee for Informationization under the PLA navy, disclosed on Wednesday during an interview with news portal people.com.cn that China's 052D Destroyer could cost up to 3.5 billion yuan ($561 million).