By ZHAO LEI
China and Pakistan launched a joint naval exercise on Monday in Karachi, a coastal city in Pakistan, according to the People's Liberation Army.
The nine-day "Sea Guardians 2020" exercise was organized to strengthen security cooperation, enhance and develop the nations' strategic partnership, foster joint efforts to safeguard seas and improve the two militaries' capabilities to handle sea-based terrorism and crime.
The exercise consists of two sessions－joint training in Karachi and live-fire drills in northern parts of the Arabian Sea－and will include workshops, tactical simulation, joint patrol, air and missile defense, law enforcement inspection and anti-submarine operations, the PLA said in a statement.
The operation will enable the two navies to test and improve their technical and tactical capabilities, maintain regional marine security, learn from each other and enhance the level of cooperation and synergy, according to the Pakistan Navy.
China sent four ships from the naval force of the PLA Southern Theater Command－CNS Yinchuan, a Type 052D destroyer; CNS Yuncheng, a Type 054A frigate; CNS Weishanhu, a Type 903 supply ship; and CNS Liugongdao, a submarine rescue vessel.
The Pakistan Navy sent two frigates and two missile boats.
A total of four helicopters and one fixed-wing anti-submarine patrol plane from both countries will be used during the exercise.
More than 60 members from the PLA Navy's Marine Corps and over 60 of their Pakistani peers will also take part.
This is the sixth joint naval exercise between the two nations, according to the PLA.
Their militaries have also conducted seven joint drills for their ground forces and eight for their air forces.