05:28 GMT +317 November 2019
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    Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, shakes hands with Myanmar's State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi as they attend the welcome ceremony at Yanqi Lake during the Belt and Road Forum, in Beijing, Monday, May 15, 2017.

    Show of Force: China, Myanmar Hold First Ever Joint Naval Drills

    © AP Photo / Roman Pilipey
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    In an era of increased cooperation among the countries comprising southeast and central Asia, Myanmar has joined with China to stage a series of unprecedented naval drills.

    Ships from the Chinese navy have traveled to Myanmar to conduct several joint maritime exercises with the latter country's flotilla, as reported on Saturday by the Chinese defense ministry, cited by Reuters.

    The ships arrived in the southern coastal city of Yangon, about 220 miles south of the country's capital city of Nay Pyi Taw on Thursday, for a four-day set of maritime exercises in the Gulf of Mottama, in the Andaman Sea, according to a Chinese defense ministry spokesperson.

    The ministry website claimed that strategic communication and deeper cooperation between Nay Pyi Taw and Beijing would be strengthened by the move, as well as making it possible to foster peace and stability in the region, as reported by Reuters.

    The joint drills commenced concurrently with an Association of Southeast Asian Nations announcement detailing a code of conduct for disputed South China Sea territories.

    The Chinese guided-missile destroyer Changchun, the guided-missile frigate Jinzhou and the replenishment ship Chaohu will participate in the joint drills representing the Chinese navy.

    Two Myanmar warships, the F11 Aung Zeya and the UMS Anawrahta (771), are participating in the exercises for Nay Pyi Taw.

    In Beijing earlier this week, Myanmar's foreign minister, Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi — acting head of the the country's civilian government — met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, during China's annual Belt and Road Forum.

    Beijing enjoyed close relations with Myanmar's previous military-run government, and has closely observed the country's transition to a form of civilian democracy.

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    Tags:
    bilateral cooperation, diplomacy, joint naval drill, naval exercise, ASEAN, Xi Jinping, Aung San Suu Kyi, South China Sea, China, Myanmar
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