Trilateral Naval Drill

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China, Russia, and Iran held a three-day maritime joint exercise in the Gulf of Oman, aiming to deepen pragmatic cooperation among the navies of the three countries. China sent the Type 052D guided-missile destroyer Urumqi, the Type 903A replenishment ship Taihu, vessel-borne helicopters, and 40 marines to attend the drill held between January 18 and 20, according to the ministry.

The exercise shows a goodwill gesture and exhibits the three countries’ abilities to maintain maritime security and build a maritime community with a shared future.

The Gulf of Oman links with the Strait of Hormuz, a passageway for nearly a third of all oil traded by sea. It is a sensitive place and vital to global energy transport, and its situation could largely affect China’s economy and security, analysts noted.

“The array is powerful enough for cooperation in non-traditional security, including combating terrorism and pirates, humanitarian rescue, and safeguarding sea routines.

The joint drill is mainly aimed at safeguarding regional peace and stability amid restrictions on major sea routes from some major powers. This is the second time the trilateral drill is held after it started in 2019 and at a time when Iran is facing unprecedented sanctions from the US.  This year, Russia sent to the exercise its Pacific Fleet’s naval group, made up of the missile cruiser Varyag, the large anti-submarine warfare ship Admiral Tributes, and the large sea tanker Boris Butoma.

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