China and Indonesia conducted joint naval exercises in waters off Jakarta, Beijing said on Sunday, as the two countries improve their trust and cooperation amid tensions in the South China Sea.
The defense ministry said that the drills were part of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy’s annual training program.
It also said that China’s Liuzhou and Suqian guided-missile frigates joined Indonesia’s KRI Usman Harun frigate and KRI Halasan missile craft in the exercises.
PLA Navy Southern Command head Mei Guoqiang of the offshore training formation team told PLA Daily that the exercises would “help improve coordination between the warships, deepen professional communication, enhance mutual trust and cooperation and jointly demonstrate practical actions to safeguard regional peace and stability.”
China has been doing maritime activities in the South China Sea and the East China Sea over the past few months.
China also claims sovereignty of almost the entire South China Sea and it has overlapping territorial claims with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Taiwan.
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