China and Pakistan have embarked on their first-ever joint naval patrol in the northern Arabian Sea, marking a pivotal moment in their evolving maritime alliance. This unprecedented collaboration underscores the two nations’ unwavering commitment to safeguarding the security of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and ensuring the unfettered flow of trade and commerce in the region. The inaugural joint patrol, conducted as part of the ongoing Sea Guardian-3 exercise, witnessed the PLA Navy’s Type 054A frigate Linyi and the Pakistan Navy’s F-22P frigate Saif meticulously patrol the waters surrounding critical maritime routes and port channels in the northern Arabian Sea. This collaborative endeavor represents a tangible manifestation of the deepening military ties between China and Pakistan, reflecting their shared interests in securing maritime trade routes and safeguarding the CPEC.
Beyond the joint patrol, the Sea Guardian-3 exercise encompassed a comprehensive series of drills involving six warships from both sides. These drills honed skills in various domains, including visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) operations, aerial photography, air defense, communications, and joint anti-submarine warfare. The exercise served as a testament to the growing interoperability between the two navies, highlighting their ability to work seamlessly together in a complex maritime environment. The Sea Guardian-3 exercise marks the third and most extensive iteration of this bilateral naval cooperation. The inaugural edition took place in 2020 in the northern Arabian Sea, while the second was held in 2022 off the coast of Shanghai. These exercises underscore the burgeoning maritime alliance between China and Pakistan, fueled by their shared interests in securing maritime trade routes and safeguarding the CPEC.
Experts believe that this type of joint naval patrol is likely to become a regular fixture, further solidifying the maritime cooperation between China and Pakistan. The Arabian Sea, a vital artery for goods and energy transportation, is crucial to the CPEC’s success. Therefore, ensuring the safety and security of this sea lane is paramount for both countries. As China and Pakistan continue to strengthen their military ties, their joint naval patrols and exercises play a pivotal role in safeguarding their maritime interests and fostering stability in the region. These collaborations demonstrate the two countries’ resolve to work in tandem to address shared maritime challenges and ensure the unimpeded flow of trade and commerce. The deepening maritime partnership between China and Pakistan serves as a beacon of cooperation in the region, signaling their commitment to upholding maritime security and promoting regional stability.