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Chinese, Pakistani Naval Forces Conduct Joint Exercise

Chinese and Pakistani warships carried out a joint rescue exercise Wednesday off the coast of Shanghai of China in the East China Sea.

This was the first time for the Chinese naval forces to conduct a joint exercise with their foreign counterpart in a non-traditional security field.

The exercise, code-named Dolphin 0310, was launched early in the afternoon in Shanghai, involving one Pakistani destroyer and a supply ship as well as a frigate and a supply ship on the Chinese side.

The exercise was carried out against the background that a civilian vessel, which was played by a supply ship of the Chinese navy, caught fire suddenly while sailing in the East China Sea to the east of the mouth of the Yangtze River.

The ship sent out SOS signals after sailors failed to control the fire and some of them were badly burned.

Soon after picking up the signal, Chinese and Pakistani warships passing nearby started an emergency rescue operation, which ended successfully late in the afternoon. 

The exercise include communications, search for the ship from both the air and sea, relocation of wounded sailors by ship-borne helicopters and the efforts of the warships in helping put out the fire on the ship.

The exercise was jointly commanded by Vice Admiral Zhang Deshun, chief of staff of the East China Sea Fleet of the Chinese Navy, and Commodore Shafi of the Pakistani Navy.

In recent years, Chinese military forces have stepped up their cooperation in non-traditional security fields both regionally and internationally, with the new security concept of "mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination", said a leading officer with the Foreign Affairs Office under the Chinese Ministry of National Defense.

They pledged that the Chinese Navy would continue to enhance its exchanges and cooperation with their foreign counterparts to safeguard peace and prosperity in the Asian-Pacific region and in the world at large.

Bubur, the Pakistani destroyer, and NASR, the supply ship, arrived in Shanghai Saturday under the command of Pakistani Navy Commander Tahir, for a five-day visit to China.

(Xinhua News Agency October 23, 2003)

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