BEIJING - In a rare show of camaraderie, naval ships of India, China and Pakistan would take part in the joint exercises being organised to celebrate the 65th founding anniversary of the Chinese Navy.
INS Shivalik, an indigenously-built Indian stealth frigate, will take part in the international fleet review being held by the People’s Liberation Army Navy at the Qingdao port on April 23-24, the Indian Embassy said in a statement. The event also includes exercises.
Officials say Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is also the head of the PLA, is expected to attend the event.
India took part in a similar event organised by the Chinese Navy in connection with its 60th anniversary in 2009.
Significantly, Shivalik will be joining the exercises along with a Pakistani naval ship. About eight to 10 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 defence cooperation between the two countries,” the statement said.
The countries have 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 goodwill tour.
The countries are also considering stepping up maritime cooperation. China has invited India to be part of its new Maritime Silk Road initiative.