WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Navy explained the naval drills focused on guidelines for unplanned maritime encounters while at sea.
"The exercise was the culmination of our visit with the PLA Navy," Stethem's commanding officer Cmdr. Harry Marsh said. "Each day and interaction brought our crews and navies closer, so that by the end of the week, the exercise was smoothly conducted."
During the drills, the Stethem and Xuzchou conducted search and rescue and used unplanned encounters to indicate ship maneuvering as well as passed along Morse code to one another.
The drills, which appear to have been conducted in the area of the East China Sea, come as relations between China and US ally Japan, have been strained over a dispute over the uninhabited Senkaku, or Diaoyudao, Islands in the East China Sea, which both countries lay claims on.