Sea Guardian-2: Pakistan, China Start Joint Naval Exercise In Shanghai; Direct Threat To India’s Integrity

With Islamabad’s most advanced warship built by Beijing, China and Pakistan started a joint naval drill off Shanghai on Sunday to increase military cooperation and strengthen friendship, with Chinese experts speaking that the exercises target maritime security threats, including those to strategic transport sea routes

According to agreements between two nations Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy and the Pakistan Navy, the two-nation will hold a joint naval exercise Sea Guardians-2 in the maritime off of Shanghai in the second half-July. The exercise niceties were held Sunday at a naval port in Wusong, Shanghai.

The Theme of the naval drill is “jointly dealing with maritime security threats,” the naval drill will highlight training courses, including a joint strike against maritime targets, joint anti-submarine warfare and joint support for damaged vessels. The exercise aims to increase defence partnership, perform professional and technical exchanges, increase traditional friendship between Pakistan and China and both navies, and promote development in different areas.

This is the second edition of the joint naval drill between China-Pakistan has been aliased Sea Guardians. The first Sea Guardians exercise was held in January 2020 in the North Arabian Sea of Karachi. The Sea Guardians naval drill could become routine between China and Pakistan.

Islamabad and China enjoy a high level of strategic partnership, and the two countries’ militaries participate in all types of military drills. Now that the Pakistan Navy has commissioned more advanced frigates, it has given confidence to Pakistan and has increased its capabilities in waters, enabling it to conduct more joint exercises with Beijing that can further increase the two countries’ international responsibilities as well as exchange new cultural activities between Pakistan and China.

Pakistan’s warship in the drill, the Taimur, is the second of four powerful Type 054A/P frigates built by China. It was sent to the Islamabad Navy in Shanghai. The first ship in the Type 054A/P-class, the Tughril, joined the Pakistan Navy camp in January.

President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi said during Tughril’s induction that the Type 054A/Ps would not only serve Pakistan’s security but also help become the bodyguard of the sea routes of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The newly delivered Taimur’s launched in the exercises indicates its high technical success and coordination between both nations, as well as the rich experience collected by the Tughril, Chinese experts said.

Sea Guardian: Threat To India’s Integrity

The first time of ‘Sea Guardians’ exercise was held in January 2020 in the North Arabian Sea off Karachi. The Arabian Sea area is strategically significant as major Indian ports, including Kandla, Okha, Mumbai, Mormugao, New Mangalore and Kochi, are located there. The Arabian sea gives entry to the Indian Ocean, where Beijing has built a logistics base at Djibouti in the Horn of Africa.

China has captured Pakistan’s Gwadar port in the Arabian Sea, giving connectivity with China’s Xinjiang province by land in the USD 60 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The modernisation of the Pakistan Navy and the Chinese policy of catching ports near India is a direct challenge to India’s integrity.