KARACHI, Jan. 11 (ChinaMil) -- Chief of Naval Staff of the Pakistan Navy Admiral Muhammed Zakaullah visited the frigate Liuzhou of the 21st Chinese naval escort taskforce and met with Rear Admiral Yu Manjiang, commanding officer of the taskforce, in Karachi on Jan. 8, 2016.
The 21st escort taskforce of the Chinese PLA Navy, comprising the guided-missile frigates Liuzhou and Sanya and the comprehensive supply ship Qinghaihu, arrived in Karachi, Pakistan for a five-day goodwill visit on Jan. 7.
Zakaullah extended his warm welcome to the visiting Chinese naval taskforce and highly appreciated the friendly state and military exchange and deep-level cooperation between the two countries, especially the two navies. He expressed gratitude to China for the substantial support and assistance China has provided in maintaining peace and stability in the region.
Pakistan naval frigate Shamsheer and the supply ship Nasr paid a 7-day friendly visit to Shanghai from Dec. 28, 2015 to Jan. 3, 2016. During their stay in Shanghai, the two Pakistan Navy ships and ships of the Chinese PLA Navy held a joint maritime exercise in waters off Shanghai in the East China Sea from Dec. 31, 2015 to Jan. 1, 2016.
Zakaullah hoped that the joint drill to be jointly held in the open waters off Karachi by the Pakistani and Chinese navies would be a success, adding that Pakistan Navy expects to conduct more multilevel pragmatic exchange and cooperation with the Chinese PLA Navy.
The Chinese naval taskforce will as scheduled wraps up its visit to Pakistan on the morning of Jan. 11, and then hold a joint drill with Pakistan Navy out of the Port of Karachi on the same day.
Yu also expressed gratitude to the Pakistan Navy for their warm reception and thoughtful arrangement. He said Pakistan tops the list of countries to which the taskforce will pay port calls during its 6-Asian nations visit after completing the merchant ships escort mission in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somali coast, hoping that his taskforce's visit will help further cement the traditional friendship between China and Pakistan and their militaries and deepen communication and cooperation between the two navies.
With respect to the escort, Yu said the taskforce had successfully escorted 65 Chinese and foreign ships in 36 batches in the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters since August 4, 2015.
Zakaullah and his entourage were shown around the frigate Liuzhou and reviewed the honor guard on the Chinese warship.