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Coast guard forum in Russia will feature six-country drill

By Mo Jingxi | China Daily | Updated: 2016-08-03 07:39

Coast guard agencies from six countries in the northern Pacific, including China, will begin a joint maritime drill at Vladivostok, Russia, on Thursday as part of a multilateral forum to foster cooperation among participating states.

The multilateral drill, including an artillery firing exercise, is intended to boost collaboration in such activities as preventing terrorist attacks, searching for ships in distress and clearing oil spills, the Russian news agency Sputnik reported.

The drill, which involves ships and aircraft from maritime law enforcement agencies, will help to protect the marine environment and resources, as well as address challenges in the region, observers said.

It will also help China to participate in the future formulation of international regulations at sea, they added.

The North Pacific Coast Guard Agencies Forum, which brings together agencies from China, Russia, the United States, Japan, South Korea and Canada, began on Monday and will last for six days.

The joint command for the exercise began work on Tuesday, in order to carry out the online exchange of information among the countries' coast guard agencies and coordinate the activities of the vessels, according to Sputnik.

The forum, established in 2000, has served as a venue for fostering multilateral cooperation through the sharing of information on matters including combined operations, illegal drug trafficking and fisheries enforcement.

Zuo Xiying, a researcher at the National Academy of Development and Strategy at Renmin University of China, said cooperation among the coast guard agencies helps to strengthen the countries' communication on and understanding of policies and laws at sea.

"This also enhances their capacity to handle emergencies and conflicts in the region," he said.

"China Coast Guard's active engagement in such events shows its open-mindedness and willingness to maintain maritime security and order," said Zhang Junshe, a senior researcher at the PLA Naval Military Studies Research Institute.

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