The 36th Chinese naval escort taskforce held a joint naval exercise with the Singapore navy in waters near Singapore on February 24, according to the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLA Navy) Spokesperson Senior Captain Gao Xiucheng. The joint exercise mainly practiced training subjects among the fleet formations such as rendezvous, maneuver and separation of the ships, as well as communication, joint search and rescue and other operations. The exercise resulted from a consensus reached by the navies of the two countries to enhance mutual trust, deepen friendship, promote cooperation and jointly promote the building of a maritime community with a shared future.
n a short statement, the Chinese defence ministry said the drill with the Singapore navy would include joint search and rescue, as well as communication exercises. The drill is part of a 2019 agreement to deepen military ties between the two countries, which last conducted a joint naval drill in 2016. The agreement includes more high-level dialogue, academic and think tank exchanges, as well as an increase in the scale of existing bilateral exercises. Beijing has been boosting its defence ties with its neighbours in response to stepped-up freedom of navigation operations by the US in the South China Sea. But the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted some of its planned manoeuvres.