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Britain Hopes to Conduct Navy Exercises With China

Britain is discussing the possibility of holding naval exercises with China, British Rear Admiral Stephen Meyer said Wednesday in Shanghai.

"We hope that we will be able to do some minor exercises with the PLA navy," Meyer told reporters after the HMS Cornwall arrived in Shanghai, the first British ship to visit China since NATO bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in May last year.

Meyer said any exercises with the People's Liberation Army (PLA) naval forces would be about "manoeuvring and communications primarily, so that we can communicate easily with each other at sea when we meet in the future".

He said there were no concrete plans so far and the two sides were still discussing the possibility.

The HMS Cornwall, a frigate, will be in Shanghai for five days along with three other Royal Navy ships.

Military relations between China and Britain soured after NATO forces, led by the United States and Britain, destroyed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade.

Meyer said the bombing, which Washington said was a mistake, had not been raised during his visit.

(China Daily 08/16/2000)

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