The second phase of the ASEAN-China Maritime Exercise was successfully conducted from 22 to 27 October 2018, with the navies of ASEAN member states and China participating in a field training exercise in Zhanjiang, China. Co-organised by the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), the exercise involved more than 1,000 personnel deployed on board eight ships and at the exercise Combined Command Post in Ma Xie Naval Base.
Employing the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES), the sea-phase of the exercise included joint search and rescue operations and medical evacuation drills with the use of helicopters. These naval serials were executed based on plans developed during the table-top exercise held in Singapore in August 2018. Professional exchanges on military medicine and diving were also organised onshore.
Following the closing ceremony today, exercise co-director, Commander of First Flotilla and Commanding Officer of 185 Squadron from the RSN, COL Lim Yu Chuan said, "The successful conduct of the inaugural ASEAN-China Maritime Exercise is an important achievement for the navies of ASEAN and China. The exercise drills have enabled us to strengthen interoperability and more importantly, build trust and confidence for our navies to work with one another in responding to maritime incidents at sea."
Commenting on the good performance of the participants during the exercise, he added, "Together with my counterpart co-director from the PLAN, we are very heartened by the professionalism and hard work put in by the participants in ensuring the success of this exercise."
Similar sentiments were shared by Commander of PLA Combat Support Flotilla, Southern Theater Command, Senior Captain Zhu Jianda, also the co-exercise director, who said, "Through this exercise, ASEAN and China navies strengthened friendships and enhanced mutual understanding and cooperation. I hope to see more of such interactions in the future."
Singapore facilitated the ASEAN-China Maritime Exercise in its role as the ASEAN-China Country Coordinator from 2015 to 2018 and as ADMM Chair this year. In February, the ASEAN and Chinese Defence Ministers agreed to conduct the exercise during the ADMM Retreat and ASEAN-China Defence Ministers' Informal Meeting in Singapore.