ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Navy Ship (PNS) SAIF (FFG-253) participated in 5th PN-PLA (N) bilateral exercise held in Shanghai, China.
Upon arrival, the ship was received at sea by Chinese Navy (PLA (N)) Frigate JINGZHOU off port Wusong, Shanghai, said a press release on Saturday. An impressive welcoming ceremony was held in which senior officials of Shanghai Naval Base along with defence attaché and naval attaché of Pakistan received the ship.
During the stay in the port, PNS SAIF commanding officer called on senior civil/military officials including Shanghai Mayor Fan Yufei and Shanghai Naval Base Commander Rear Admiral Wang Jianxun. An overwhelming response from Chinese authorities was received during reception dinner onboard PNS SAIF.
Ambassador of Pakistan to China Masood Khalid co-hosted the event along with ship’s commanding officer. A large number of guests representing civil/diplomatic/military communities in Shanghai attended the dinner.
PN-PLA (N) bilateral exercises were instituted in 2014 when Pakistan and Chinese navies conducted an inaugural joint exercise in Pakistani waters of North Arabian Sea. The second exercise of the series was conducted in the East China Sea in 2015 whereas both third and fourth exercises were held in beginning and end of the year 2016 in North Arabian Sea.
Now the 5th exercise of the series has been conducted in Chinese waters off Shanghai wherein PNS SAIF and frontline warships of PLA (N) along with air and subsurface assets participated to carry out joint drills and naval manoeuvres to develop interoperability between the two naval forces.
Observers from both navies were also exchanged to learn and benefit from each other’s professional experiences. In addition, marines’ teams of both PN and PLA (N) also held joint training and tactical drills.
The present visit of PNS SAIF to China and conduct of 5th PN-PLA (N) bilateral exercise will further strengthen friendly and professional ties between the two important navies of South-West and Far-East Asia regions. The exercise will help in developing a combined response by PN and PLA (N) in the face of conventional as well as an asymmetric threat to maritime interests of both countries.