Beijing, Feb 23 (IANS) The defence ministry said Thursday that China, India and Japan will step up their coordination and cooperation on international anti-piracy naval escorts.
“The integrated escort schedule will be arranged on a quarterly basis,” Xinhua quoted defence spokesman Geng Yansheng as saying during a news briefing.
He also noted that the strengthened coordination and cooperation could increase the efficiency of escort operations and better safeguard navigational safety.
The schedule-making process will be led by the reference country quarterly, said Geng.
He explained that as the first reference country, China has already proposed its schedule, and the other countries involved in the operation will formulate their own schedules according to China’s.
Geng noted that China has been playing an active role in promoting international naval escort operations and has boosted its exchange of intelligence, mutual visits among commanders, and joint naval escorts and drills with relevant countries and organizations.
According to the spokesman, 10 Chinese navy flotillas, including 25 warships, 22 helicopters and over 8,400 officers and soldiers, have been deployed to the Gulf of Aden for escort missions since December 2008.