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Indian ships arrive in China for naval exercises
Anil K Joseph in Shanghai |
November 10, 2003 16:01 IST
Three Indian naval ships led by destroyer, INS Ranjit, docked in the east Chinese port city of Shanghai on Monday to take part in the first-ever India-China naval exercises.
Apart from INS Ranjit, a guided-missile destroyer, the two other ships taking part in the exercise are INS Kulish, a guided-missile corvette, and INS Jyoti, a replenishment tanker, all from the Eastern Naval Command.
The Indian Navy is represented by Flag Officer Commanding of the Eastern Command, Vice Admiral O P Bansal.
The exercises are scheduled to take place off the Shanghai coast on November 14, official sources said.
Apart from enhancing mutual trust and confidence, the exercises are also aimed at ensuring the safety of maritime trade and improving coordination in search and rescue at sea, they said.
Though the maneuvers may seem militarily insignificant, the very fact that the Indian and Chinese navies are doing it for the first time is significant, especially since New Delhi and Beijing have not yet settled their long-pending boundary dispute, analysts said.
During their stay in Shanghai, the sailors of the three Indian ships would get ample opportunities to interact with their Chinese counterparts.
The decision to hold the naval exercise was taken during Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's visit to China in June this year.
Also see: PM's China Visit -- The complete coverage