The China-Russia-South Africa maritime exercise was kicked off during a ceremony at the Port of Cape Town, South Africa at 8:30 am local time on Nov. 25.
About 200 people attended the ceremony, including commanding officers from three militaries, Assistant to PLA Navy Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Liu Zongcheng, Flag Officer Fleet of South African Naval Fleet Command Rear Admiral Bubele Mhlana, and Deputy Chief Russian Navy General Staff Rear Admiral Vladimir Zemskov, as well as the participating service members.
The participating vessels include Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy’s Type 054A frigate Weifang (550), Russian Navy Slava-class missile cruiser Marshal Ustinov (055), medium-sized tanker Vyazma and tug SB-406, as well as South African Navy’s Valour-class frigate SAS Amatola (F145) and Hecla-class survey vessel/auxiliary ship SAS Protea.
As general director of the exercise, an officer from the South African Joint Operation Division chaired the kickoff ceremony. “The South African navy has maintained a sound cooperative relation with Chinese and Russian navies, and we are committed to continuing this friendly relation in the future. The focus of the exercise is on promoting navigation security and maritime economic security. We wish it a complete success,” he said.
RDML Liu Zongcheng said in his speech that the first multilateral joint exercise of Chinese, Russian and South African navies in the southern waters off Africa was of great importance for developing the relations among the countries and the militaries. He hoped the exercise could boost the pragmatic cooperation level and joint operation capability of the three navies, and fully demonstrate their determination to jointly cope with maritime threats and challenges, safeguard world peace and maritime security, and build the “maritime community with a shared future”.
Original story by Li Tang, Wang Guanbiao/ China Military Online