China, Vietnam wrap up 25th joint patrol in Beibu Gulf

China Military Online
Li Jiayao
A commanding officer observes the sea conditions in a Chinese warship during the joint patrol.

HAIKOU, Dec. 20 (ChinaMil) -- "We brought our joint patrol to a successful conclusion. Thank you for your cooperation and we hope China-Vietnam friendship will last forever! Have a safe journey home! Goodbye!" Officers and soldiers from the formation of the frigate flotilla of a naval base under the Southern Theater Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) and the Vietnamese ship formation bid farewell to each other after arriving at the end of the patrol line. It marked the successful completion of the 25th joint patrol in the Beibu Gulf between the Chinese and Vietnamese navies.

China and Vietnam each assigned two naval vessels to participate in the joint patrol. During the joint patrol, the fleet sailed for nearly 30 hours and they made information exchange on hydrological meteorology, sea and air conditions, formation course and speed, enhancing mutual maritime communications and resource sharing.

In order to strengthen the capability of maritime cooperation, the two sides worked closely to improve patrolling tactics, including exchanging command relations and alternately commanding the joint patrol formation. They have also made improvement in the joint patrol organization and commanding procedures, and further deepened mutual understanding and coordination.

According to the schedule, the two sides also organized the joint search and rescue exercises. After receiving the order to "rescue the vessels and personnel in distress", the joint patrol formation immediately started the rescue deployment and set sail to the designated sea area for joint search and rescue.

The commanding ships from both sides exchanged information on the location of the vessel in distress, the nature of the distress situation and related weather conditions.

China and Vietnam have conducted 25 joint patrols since the Agreement on Joint Patrols by the Navies of China and Vietnam in the Beibu Gulf was signed in 2005. The joint patrol aims to carry forward the traditional friendship between the two countries and deepen mutual understanding and mutual trust.

The joint patrol is also of great significance to maintaining mutual security and stability of the Beibu Gulf, strengthening mutual understanding between the two navies, and promoting the healthy and stable development of China-Vietnam military relations.

The two sides will further enrich the content of the future patrol missions based on the normalization of China-Vietnam joint patrols. The two sides will also enhance the capability to jointly respond to maritime security issues, maintain the order and stability in the Beibu Gulf and common fishing zone, deepen exchanges and cooperation, enhance friendship, and promote the healthy and stable development of the bilateral military relations through carrying out joint search and rescue, providing convoy escort or fishery protection vessels, as well as conducting anti-terrorism and anti-piracy exercises.

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