Beijing: India’s stealth frigate INS Shivalik on Wednesday took part in rare drills with Chinese and Pakistan naval ships in multilateral maritime exercises held off China’s coast to celebrate 65th anniversary of its navy.
The Indian naval ship took part in the drills along with 18 ships, seven helicopters and marine corps.
Besides India, ships from seven other countries, including China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei took part in the exercises held off the coast of the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao.
Codenamed ‘Maritime Cooperation 2014’, the multilateral maritime exercises were organised by People’s Liberation Army (PLA) for the first time.
The exercises focused on joint search and rescue, and included task force communication, formation movement, maritime replenishment supply, joint rescue, joint anti- hijacking and small firearms shooting.
Chinese destroyer Harbin was designated as the command ship and Yang Junfei, deputy chief of the Beihai Fleet, as the exercise commander.
The exercises were aimed at enhancing mutual understanding, trust and friendship among maritime forces and promoting their cooperation in safeguarding maritime security to better respond to emergencies.
This is the second time Shivalik visited a Chinese port. Last year, it visited Shanghai along with three other Indian ships on a goodwill visit.
Over 1,500 people, including 400 Chinese naval cadets, visited the Shivalik when it was opened for public yesterday.
Indian Ambassador to China Ashok K Kantha also held a reception on its deck.