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Chinese Navy to hold drill in S China Sea, Pacific

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-03-19 21:16

ABOARD JINGGANGSHAN - A Chinese navy fleet of four warships will conduct training exercises in the South China Sea and the western Pacific Ocean after departing from Sanya in South China's Hainan province on Tuesday.

Four Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy warships -- the Jinggangshan, Lanzhou, Yulin and Hengshui, four ship-borne helicopters and a hovercraft will participate in the drills, said Jiang Weilie, commander of the South China Sea fleet.

The fleet will conduct drills such as command post establishment, operational maneuvering from the sea and high-sea convoy missions.

"The training exercises will be conducted according to requirements of actual combat, with the aim of improving the navy's defense capabilities based on the information system and enhancing its ability to safeguard maritime sovereignty," said Jiang.

The drill is a regular arrangement in line with the navy's annual training plan. The PLA Navy conducted seven similar training exercises in 2012.

The Jinggangshan is China's most advanced amphibious transport dock with the largest shipping tonnage. The Lanzhou and Hengshui have carried out several convoy missions in the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters, and the Hengshui is a new type of frigate recently put into service.

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