Chinese navy fleets head to Malaysia military drills

Beijing, Sep 13 (IANS) Chinese naval fleets left a port in Hainan province for a military exercise jointly held by Beijing and Malaysia, the media reported on Sunday.

The drill, coded “Peace and Friendship 2015”, is scheduled to be held September 17-22 in the Malacca Strait and surrounding waters, the Global Post reported.

The fleets left on Saturday from the Sanya port.

The drill will include exercises for joint escort, joint search and rescue, hijacked vessel rescue, weapons use, humanitarian rescue and disaster relief.

It will be the first joint drill between the two armed forces and the largest bilateral military exercise between China and a country from the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean).

A joint command post will be set up by the two sides to coordinate air, land and sea forces.

Armaments to be displayed by China will include a missile destroyer, a missile frigate, a hospital ship, four transportation planes and three helicopters.

“The military drill aims to deepen the China-Malaysia all-round strategic partnership, enhance bilateral military exchanges, improve ability to address security threats and jointly safeguard regional maritime security,” said Hu Weihua, commander of the Chinese navy fleets.

It does not target a third party and is not related to the regional situation, Hu added.

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