Quantcast

Monday, July 21, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 0 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Chinese ships depart for rare drills with U.S. Navy

By Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 05:03 p.m. HST, Aug 20, 2013



BEIJING >> Three Chinese naval ships are sailing east to join rare search-and-rescue drills with the United States as Beijing ramps up its military diplomacy.

The ships left the port of Qingdao today for waters off Hawaii, where they will exchange coordinating officers and observers during the exercises, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday on its website.  

Later in the cruise, the ships will also travel to Australia and New Zealand for similar exercises and exchanges.

Deputy navy commander Xu Hongmeng was quoted by newspapers as calling the exercises an “important mission of military diplomacy” that helps consolidate a commitment to build stronger ties made by President Barack Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping at a June summit in California.

The ships’ departure came during a visit to the U.S. by Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan, during which he and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke hopefully of building greater trust through expanded military cooperation.

During Chang’s visit, Hagel pledged to visit China next year. China’s navy will participate for the first time in a major international maritime exercise known as Rim of the Pacific and the sides plan to boost anti-piracy cooperation off the coast of Somalia.

The moves are part of an on-again, off-again drive to build mutual confidence and ensure military exchanges aren’t affected by the ups and downs in the overall relationship.

Military-to-military relations continue to develop despite Beijing’s wariness over the Pentagon’s strategic “pivot” to Asia and the Pacific. China sees the moves to base the bulk of the U.S. Navy’s vessels in the region and strengthen alliances with allies such as Australia as part of an effort to counter its expanding military and contain its growing economic and political influence.

China’s disputes with Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and other Asian neighbors over territorial boundaries in the South China Sea are also an irritant. The U.S. insists it does not take sides in territorial claims, but encourages all parties to avoid allowing tensions to escalate into armed conflict.







 Print   Email   Comment | View 0 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

COMMENTS
(0)
You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
IN OTHER NEWS
Breaking News
Blogs