Full Text: The Diversified Employment of China's Armed Forces (10)

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-4-16 10:31:26

Full Text: The Diversified Employment of China's Armed Forces (10)

Safeguarding the Security of International SLOCs

To fulfill China's international obligations, the Chinese navy carries out regular escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia. It conducts exchanges and cooperation with other escort forces to jointly safeguard the security of the international SLOCs. As of December 2012, Chinese navy task groups have provided protection for four WFP ships and 2,455 foreign ships, accounting for 49% of the total of escorted ships. They helped four foreign ships, recovered four ships released from captivity and saved 20 foreign ships from pursuit by pirates.

Chinese navy escort task forces have maintained smooth communication with other navies in the areas of joint escort, information sharing, coordination and liaison. They have conducted joint escorts with their Russian counterparts, carried out joint anti-piracy drills with naval ships of the ROK, Pakistan and the US, and coordinated with the European Union to protect WFP ships. It has exchanged boarding visits of commanders with task forces from the EU, NATO, the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), the ROK, Japan and Singapore. It has exchanged officers for onboard observations with the navy of the Netherlands. China takes an active part in the conferences of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) and "Shared Awareness and Deconfliction" (SHADE) meetings on international merchant shipping protection.

Since January 2012, independent deployers such as China, India and Japan have strengthened their convoy coordination. They have adjusted their escort schedules on a quarterly basis, optimized available assets, and thereby enhanced escort efficiency. China, as the reference country for the first round of convoy coordination, submitted its escort timetable for the first quarter of 2012 in good time. India and Japan's escort task forces adjusted their convoy arrangements accordingly, thereby formulating a well-scheduled escort timetable. The ROK joined these efforts in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Joint Exercises and Training with Foreign Armed Forces

In adherence to the principles of being non-aligned, non-confrontational, and not directed against any third party, as well as the guidelines of mutual benefit, equality and reciprocity, the PLA has held, together with other countries, bilateral and multilateral exercises and training featuring multiple levels, domains, services and arms. Since 2002, the PLA has held 28 joint exercises and 34 joint training sessions with 31 countries in accordance with relevant agreements or arrangements. This is conducive to promoting mutual trust in the political and military fields, safeguarding regional security and stability, and accelerating the PLA's modernization.

Joint anti-terrorism military exercises within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) have become more institutionalized. To date, China and other SCO member states have conducted nine bilateral and multilateral military exercises. Since 2005, they have carried out a series of "Peace Mission" joint exercises at the campaign level with strategic impact. They were the "Peace Mission-2005" China-Russia joint military exercise, "Peace Mission-2007" joint anti-terrorism military exercise by SCO members, "Peace Mission-2009" China-Russia joint anti-terrorism military exercise, "Peace Mission-2010" joint anti-terrorism military exercise by SCO members and "Peace Mission-2012" joint anti-terrorism military exercise by SCO members. The aforementioned exercises served to warn and deter terrorist, secessionist and extremist forces. The capabilities of the SCO members are constantly being enhanced to jointly deal with new challenges and new threats.

Joint maritime exercises and training are being expanded. In recent years, the Chinese navy has taken part in the "Peace-07," "Peace-09" and "Peace-11" multinational maritime exercises hosted by Pakistan on the Arabian Sea. The PLA and Russian navies held the "Maritime Cooperation-2012" military drill in the Yellow Sea off China's east coast focusing on joint defense of maritime traffic arteries. Chinese and Thai marine corps held the "Blue Strike-2010" and "Blue Strike-2012" joint training exercises. During mutual port calls and other activities, the Chinese navy also carried out bilateral or multilateral maritime exercises and training in such tasks as communications, formation movement, maritime replenishment, cross-deck helicopter landing, firing at surface, underwater and air targets, joint escort, boarding and inspection, joint search and rescue and diving with its counterparts of India, France, the UK, Australia, Thailand, the US, Russia, Japan, New Zealand and Vietnam.

Joint army training is gradually being increased in breadth and depth. Since 2007, the PLAA has conducted a number of joint training sessions with its counterparts of other countries. The PLAA joined the "Hand-in-Hand 2007" and "Hand-in-Hand 2008" joint anti-terrorism training sessions with the Indian army, "Peacekeeping Mission-2009" joint peacekeeping exercise with the Mongolian army, "Cooperation-2009" and "Cooperation-2010" joint security training exercises with Singapore, "Friendship Operation-2009" and "Friendship Operation-2010" joint military training of mountain troops with the Romanian army, and joint SOF unit training with the Turkish army. The PLAA special forces held the "Strike-2007," "Strike-2008" and "Strike-2010" joint anti-terrorism training with their Thai counterparts, "Sharp Knife-2011" and "Sharp Knife-2012" joint anti-terrorism training with their Indonesian counterparts, "Friendship-2010" and "Friendship-2011" joint anti-terrorism training with their Pakistani counterparts, and "Cooperation-2012" joint anti-terrorism training with their Colombian counterparts. In November 2012, joint anti-terrorism training was held with the Jordanian special forces and a joint humanitarian-assistance and disaster-relief tabletop exercise with the US army.

Joint air force training is also making progress. The PLAAF contingent held the "Shaheen-1" joint training of operational aerial maneuvers with its Pakistani counterpart in March 2011. China's airborne commandos and their Venezuelan counterparts held the "Cooperation-2011" urban joint anti-terrorism training in October of the same year. China's airborne troops joined their Belarusian counterparts in the joint training code-named "Divine Eagle-2011" and "Divine Eagle-2012" respectively in July 2011 and November 2012.

Joint training in providing health services is being developed steadily. From 2009 to 2011, PLA medical teams held the "Peace Angel" joint operations for humanitarian medical assistance in Gabon and Peru, and participated in a disaster-relief exercise of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Indonesia. The PLA health service team staged a joint exercise on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief code-named "Cooperation Spirit-2012" with its counterparts of Australia and New Zealand in October 2012. (more)

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