Cooperation between the two navies of India and China is crucial for peace in the region, a top naval officer of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has said.
Addressing the visiting delegation of Indian navy personnel on board Shakti, a fleet tanker, rear admiral Gu Xiangping said the increasing exchanges between the two forces will benefit both countries.
Around 1300 Indian navy officers and sailors aboard four ships have docked in Shanghai for five days to make a rare port call in China.
While on their way out from Shanghai to a Malaysian port, the two navies will participate in a “passage exercises”, also a first for both.
“The exchange between militaries makes an important component of the bilateral relations between countries. The friendship and cooperation between the two peoples, two militaries and especially the two navies will not only benefit the two peoples but also the peace and development of the two countries, the region and the world as a whole,” Gu, deputy commander of the eastern fleet of the PLA navy, said on Wednesday evening.
On Thursday, the Indian navy threw open the ships to school children for a visit. Indian navy personnel will play a football match with their counterparts from the Chinese navy; the navy band will also perform at a function on Friday.
“China and India are both neighbours. Recent years have seen frequent exchanges between the two nations, and sound and healthy development of friendship between the two nations and two militaries,” Gu added.
“I have confidence that the current visit led by Vice Admiral Anil Chopra will surely enhance mutual understanding and trust between China and India further the relationship between the two militaries, and particularly the two navies,” the rear admiral added.
In the recent past the two navies have cooperated in combating piracy in the Gulf of Aden.