Indian destroyer warship in Qingdao, to help Chinese navy plan mega parade
Battleships from India, Singapore and Australia were among several foreign navies to arrive in the eastern port city of Qingdao on Sunday to take part in a maritime parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).
On Tuesday, China is expected to display new warships including nuclear submarines, destroyers, warplanes and the country’s first aircraft carrier at the parade in the Yellow sea off the Qingdao coast.
More than a dozen foreign navies will take part in it.
As reported by Hindustan Times on April 7, conspicuous by its absence will be the Pakistan navy, which hasn’t dispatched any warship for the event that includes an international fleet review to be inspected by President Xi Jinping on April 23.
Given the strong ties between China and Pakistan – who call each other “iron brothers” – it was expected that Islamabad would also dispatch its frontline warships for the big military event.
Neither Islamabad nor Beijing has explained the reason for not taking part in it; it is possibly because of the Indian navy’s heightened deployment in the Arabian sea region following the air skirmish with Pakistan in February.
Incidentally, China is building the first of four ‘most advanced’ naval frigates for Pakistan as part of a major bilateral arms deal, the state-controlled China Daily reported in January.
The vessels, a version of China’s guided missile frigates, will be equipped with state of the art sensors and weapons system
For the Indian navy and its personnel, it will be a rare chance to interact with Chinese counterparts during the event.
Besides INS Kolkata commanded by Captain Aditya Hara, India has also sent supply ship, INS Shakti, commanded by Captain Sriram Amur. “We bring to you one of the best ships that we have made. It is the pride of the nation and the navy, and we are very happy to be here,” Captain Aditya Hara told reporters on the dockside after disembarking from the ship in Qingdao, reported Reuters from Qingdao.
“We headed on a direct route and we are very happy that we were facilitated by the PLA Navy and they ensured that we had a safe passage to Qingdao,” Hara said, when asked if they had sailed via the Taiwan Strait, a waterway that divides China and self-ruled Taiwan.
“Participation by the Indian Navy in the PLA Navy IFR is part of the efforts towards deepening the military-to-military relations between India and China, which is in keeping with the strategic guidance provided by the leaders of both countries,” the Indian embassy said in a statement.
“It is anticipated that the PLA Navy IFR will further this ongoing process of enhancing mutual trust and understanding. A range of professional, cultural and sports exchanges are planned. Professionally, the ships’ crews will not only participate in planning and executing the parade at sea, but will also meet separately for experience sharing,” the statement added.
More than 60 countries will send delegations to join multinational naval events marking the anniversary and over 30 countries of them will send major navy leaders, PLAN’s senior navy officer Qiu Yanpeng told a press conference at Qingdao on Saturday.
China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, and latest nuclear submarines, destroyers and fighter jets will join the parade, Qiu Yanpeng, deputy commander of the PLA Navy, told a press conference in Qingdao.
“Some vessels will make their debut for the first time,” Qiu said.
Altogether 32 Chinese vessels and 39 warplanes will take part in the event, Qiu added.