Australian Navy completes maritime exercises with China

The Roy­al Aus­tralian Navy has com­plet­ed a mar­itime exer­cise with the Chi­nese Navy as part of a high­ly suc­cess­ful vis­it to the People’s Repub­lic of Chi­na.

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A view of People’s Lib­er­a­tion Army — Navy Ship Anqing dur­ing Offi­cer of the Watch Manoeu­vres with HMAS Bal­larat. Mid Cap­tion: HMAS Bal­larat has con­duct­ed a Pas­sage Exer­cise (PASSEX) with the PLA‑N at the mouth of the Yangtze Riv­er on 21 May 12.
Source: Aus­tralian Depart­ment of Defence
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Aus­tralia is com­mit­ted to fur­ther devel­op­ing strong and pos­i­tive defence rela­tions with Chi­na through dia­logue and prac­ti­cal activities. 

The Pas­sage Exer­cise (PASSEX) was con­duct­ed between HMAS Bal­larat and the Chi­nese Navy frigate Anqing at the mouth of the Yangtze River. 

The exer­cise was part of Ballarat’s five day vis­it to Shang­hai, where the ship helped mark 40 years since the estab­lish­ment of diplo­mat­ic rela­tions between Aus­tralia and the People’s Repub­lic of China. 

The PASSEX sce­nario was con­struct­ed around a radio call from a strick­en mer­chant ves­sel locat­ed to the East of the Yangtze Estu­ary. Both ves­sels closed the last known posi­tion at best speed and pre­pared to ren­der assis­tance. Upon arrival, a man over­board exer­cise was ini­ti­at­ed by Anqing, with Bal­larat launch­ing her Rigid Hull Inflat­able Boat (RHIB) to con­duct a search of the area. The RHIB then per­formed a recov­ery oper­a­tion before return­ing a casu­al­ty to Anqing for fur­ther care. 

As the exer­cise drew to an end, HMAS Ballarat’s Com­mand­ing Offi­cer Jonathan Ear­ley sent a sig­nal to the Anqing: 

“Our exer­cise today con­tributed sig­nif­i­cant­ly in deep­en­ing our mutu­al respect and trust of each other’s capa­bil­i­ties at sea and has fur­ther strength­ened our bilat­er­al rela­tion­ship in many ways,” Com­man­der Ear­ley said. 

“We look for­ward to con­duct­ing more mar­itime engage­ment activ­i­ties with the PLA(N) in the near future.” 

Bal­larat is cur­rent­ly on a North East Asian Deploy­ment with fur­ther bilat­er­al exer­cis­es planned with the Repub­lic of Korea, Japan and the Unit­ed States pri­or to return­ing to Syd­ney in late June. 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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