Warships from several nations have arrived at the Chinese port of Qingdao to participate in a bi-annual Western Pacific naval symposium (WPNS) to mark the 65th founding anniversary of the Chinese Navy.
The symposium, which involves a two-day multinational maritime joint operation dubbed Sea Cooperation 2014, will welcome vessels from nations in the Pacific Rim including China, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Brunei and Singapore.
It will last until 24 April and will involve search and rescue missions, in addition to communications and coordination.
Chinese fleet involved include the guided missile destroyer Harbin, frigates Yantai, Linyi and Huludao, the supply vessel Hongzehu and hospital ship Peace Ark.
Foreign vessels include the Indian Navy's warship INS Shivalik and landing ship KRI Banjarmasin (592), Brunei's patrol vessel KBD Darulaman (07), the Malaysian Navy's KD Kasturi (F25), the Pakistan Navy's PNS Shamsheer (252), the Singapore Navy's RSS Formidable (68) and Bangladesh's missile frigate BNS Abu Bakr (F15).
INS Shivalik, a patrol boat from Brunei and Indonesia's amphibious dock-landing ship have already arrived at the port.
According to a Chinese naval spokesperson, Japan was not invited to participate due to intensifying territorial disputes between the two nations.
However, Japan will participate in the 21-member WPNS being carried out on the sidelines.
Image: Indian warship INS Shivalik. Photo: courtesy of Shiv Aroor.