Australian, Chinese Navy frigates maneuver in South China Sea

Royal Australian Navy's HMAS Ballarat and Chinese People's Liberation Army-Navy (PLA-N) Jiangkai II class frigate 'Huangshan' training together. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Ballarat took part in exercises with People’s Liberation Army – Navy Type 054A frigate Huangshan after concluding a visit to Zhanjiang port.

Conducted in the South China Sea, the activities included surface target firing, a search and rescue exercise, communication exercises and a formation activity with aerial photography.

Australia’s Chief of Joint Operations, Vice Admiral David Johnston, said the frigates’ activities show the valued working relationship between the two navies.

“This exercise and other Australian Defence Force activities with China continue to enhance our mutual understanding and build trust between our two nations,” Vice Admiral Johnston said.

“We will continue to seek out further opportunities for maritime engagement with the PLA-N in supporting our shared objectives for regional stability.”

Ballarat is currently on a South East Asian deployment with further bilateral exercises planned with regional nations and the multilateral exercise Bersama Shield, a Five Power Defence Arrangements activity between Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

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