The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is on its way to participate in a multinational exercise to be held in Indonesia next week, as part of Chinese military diplomatic activities that boost understanding, exchanges and communication with foreign militaries to safeguard peace and stability amid rising tensions in the Asia-Pacific region stirred up by the US.
At the invitation of the Indonesian Navy, the PLA Navy Type 052D guided missile destroyer Zhanjiang and the Type 054A guided missile frigate Xuchang recently set out for Indonesia to participate in the Multilateral Naval Exercise Komodo-2023, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Thursday.
The drills aim to deepen friendship among the 32 participating countries, including Russia, the US, Pakistan and India, according to the report.
With a harbor phase and a sea phase scheduled from Monday to Thursday, the exercise will organize training including maritime search and rescue, maritime interception, damage control and aerial filming, in addition to practicing non-combat military operations such as humanitarian aid and disaster relief as well as tackling maritime threats, CCTV reported.
The PLA Navy is expected to carry out military and cultural exchanges with other navies to further deepen understanding, mutual trust and pragmatic cooperation, the report said.
Komodo-2023 marks yet another PLA foreign interaction activity in a busy 2023 since COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were lifted.
The destroyer Zhanjiang participated in the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace exhibition in Malaysia last week, and the PLA joined exercises including the AMAN-2023 multinational naval exercise in Pakistan in February, the Golden Dragon-2023 joint exercise with Cambodia in March, the China-Singapore Exercise Maritime Cooperation 2023 in April and the Friendship Shield-2023 exercise with Laos in May.
These exercises have peaceful intentions and are mostly focused on tackling non-traditional security threats such as terrorism, piracy, accidents and natural disasters, serving to safeguard regional peace and stability and enhance understanding, trust and communication during the process, observers said.
Fu Qianshao, a Chinese military expert, told the Global Times that at a time when the US is stirring up troubles in the South China Sea, including rallying the Philippines to confront China, China is expected to further deepen its ties with other countries and help bring peace and stability to the region.
China is providing an alternative approach in security cooperation to other countries, one that highlights peace and cooperation rather than confrontation and deterrence, analysts pointed out.