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Joint Navy Drill Reflects Deepening Ties

The sheer numbers involved in the first-ever joint naval exercises held between China and France on Tuesday, off the coast of Qingdao, a port city in East China's Shandong Province, indicates the relationship between the two countries is developing healthily.

This is so far the most comprehensive military maneuver staged between China and a foreign country.


On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-French diplomatic ties, such joint maritime exercises will play a role in enhancing coordination, communication and mutual trust between the two navies so as to strengthen amicable relations between the two countries.


In the one-day drill, the two navies successfully conducted fleet formation changes, ship and shipboard helicopter tactical movements, replenishment exercises, communication and search-and-rescue exercises.


The exercises came amid the smooth development of a healthy and multi-directional China-France partnership that has been steadily strengthening since the 1990s.


During his successful visit to France in late January, President Hu Jintao signed a joint declaration with French President Jacques Chirac, which provides guidelines for developing a comprehensive strategic partnership between the two nations and defines fields for intensifying bilateral partnership.


The positive development of Sino-French relations can largely be attributed to the convergence of strategic objectives and interests between the two nations.


Both are permanent members of the UN Security Council, and share a wide range of common interests while facing the same challenges in maintaining world peace. Developing Sino-French relations from a long-term strategic perspective is in the fundamental interests of both sides.


France was the first Western power to forge diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level with China.


Economic interests have served as a catalyst for the growth of a comprehensive partnership between the two sides. The process of regional integration and globalization has also added multilateral dimensions to this rapport.


Due to the accelerated globalization process, "security" has evolved into a comprehensive concept, which goes beyond politics and the military.


History has proved that force cannot fundamentally solve disputes or contradictions. Security concepts and systems based on the use or threat of force are not able to assure lasting peace.


In this increasingly interdependent world, security can only be guaranteed through active cooperation and the leaders of both China and France are working to realize it.


The joint naval drill is a reflection of the strong desire by both sides to build confidence through strengthening collaboration in the military realm.


(China Daily March 18, 2004)

Chinese, French Navies Hold Maritime Drill
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