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Chinese navy to see growing co-op with other navies

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-05-16 01:56

SINGAPORE - The cooperation between the Chinese Navy and its international counterparts is set to expand, a senior commander of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a maritime defense exhibition in Singapore, Jiang Weilie, commander of the South China Sea fleet of Chinese Navy, called on countries to boost exchange of information and cooperation on maritime security and push for peace and security at sea.

"The Navy, by nature, involves interaction with other nations, and the PLA Navy has been active in cooperation with its international counterparts," he said.

He cited China's joint exercises with Russia and Pakistan, the joint patrol operations involving the forces of China and Vietnam in the Beibu Gulf, as well as the Chinese Navy's escorting missions in the Gulf of Aden and the Somali waters.

Chinese warships on their way have been making port calls at Singapore's Changi Naval Base in recent years, too.

"The cooperation is important for security at sea, and it will only grow going ahead," Jiang said. "The PLA Navy will definitely be playing our part in international cooperation to safeguard maritime security."

Jiang outlined five principles for international cooperation in maritime security, saying that such cooperation should firstly be based on equal footing, and be practical and mutually benefiting.

Due consideration should also be given to the respective different conditions of the countries involved, he said.

The general also called on the countries to establish and optimize the mechanisms for maritime security cooperation -- perhaps starting with the fields where the most common ground can be found, such as combating non-conventional threats like pirates, terrorism and drug trafficking.

He also called for efforts to safeguard the freedom of navigation and safety on the South China Sea, saying that China has always been of the position that the freedom of navigation and safety should be safeguarded in accordance with international law.

Finally, Jiang called for a key role for the United Nations in international maritime security cooperation, citing the previous examples where the UN peace missions have been well-organized due to the respect for the UN Charter and its principles.

The International Maritime Defense Exhibition and Conference runs from May 14 to May 16 in Singapore, with 194 defense technology and equipment exhibitors from close to 30 countries as well as many senior defense and military officials.

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