Three Chinese naval warships returned home after concluding a four-day “goodwill visit” to Pakistan’s southern Karachi Port, officials said today. The Pakistan Navy Directorate of Public Relations said the warships – Chang Chun, Jing Zhou and Chao Hu – of China’s Peoples Liberation Army (Navy) were part of a task group that visited Karachi under the command of mission commander Rear Admiral Shen Hao, Deputy Commander East Sea Fleet. During their stay in Karachi, the warships took part in operational activities, joint interactive sessions and tabletop discussions with their Pakistani counterparts.
The visit is significant given the growing importance of the depp-water Gwadar port in the troubled Balochistan province which is a key element of the USD 46 billion China- Pakistan Economic Corridor projects. The Gwadar port is being modernized and built up as the main port with the assistance of Chinese aid.
In November, the first Chinese trade convoy from Xinjiang province in China came to Gwadar from where their goods were dispatched for the world market. The Pakistan navy statement said the officers and men of the visiting warships deliberated on subjects of mutual interests with their Pakistan Navy counterparts. The two navies also conducted a passage exercise in the north Arabian Sea to enhance interoperability between them.