BEIJING: In a rare show of camaraderie, naval ships of India, China and Pakistan would take part in joint exercises being organized to celebrate the 65th founding anniversary of the Chinese navy.
The event also included exercises.
Officials say Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is also the head of the PLA, is expected to take part in it.
India has taken part in a similar event organized by the Chinese Navy in connection with its 60th anniversary in 2009.
Significantly, Shivalik will be taking part in the exercises along with a Pakistani naval ship which is also an invitee.
About eight to ten ships of different countries are expected to participate in the event.
The visit of Shivalik to the Chinese port “highlights the friendly exchanges and bilateral defense cooperation between the two countries”, the statement said.
The countries declared this year as a ‘Year of Friendly Exchanges’.
This is the second time Shivalik will be visiting a Chinese port. Last year it visited Shanghai along with four other Indian naval ships on a good will tour.
The countries are also looking to step up maritime cooperation. China has invited India to be part of its new Maritime Silk Road initiative. Shivalik is one of the mainstay frigates of the Indian Navy. It has been conceived and designed by Indian Navy design teams.
“The induction of the Shivalik into the Indian Navy was a landmark event which heralded new era in indigenous ship building and augmented the existing blue-water capability of the Indian Navy,” the statement said.
The PLA Navy event is also coinciding with the 21 member Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) being held at Qingdao on April 22-24.
India, along with Bangladesh and Mexico are the observers in the WPNS.
Its member countries include Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Indonesia, Japan, Cambodia, Tonga, Malaysia, New Zealand, Brunei, Papua New Guinea, China, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Russia, Vietnam, Thailand and United States.–PTI