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The frigate from Bangladesh is the first foreign naval ship to reach Chinese shores even as the US said it will not attend the multi-national exercise after sources said Japan has not been invited by Beijing.
The INS Shivalik, an indigenously built Indian stealth frigate, will take part in the International Fleet Review being organised by the PLA.
The visit of Shivalik to the Chinese port “highlights the friendly exchanges and bilateral defence cooperation between the two countries”, said a statement from the Indian Embassy in Beijing.
The exact date of the drills has not been announced yet but the exercise will be held around April 23, which marks the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is also the head of the PLA, will also be present during the high-profile event.
The final list of countries to participate in the drill has not been publicized by the Chinese navy.
The PLA Navy event is also coinciding with the 21 member Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) being held at Qingdao on April 22-24. India, along with Bangladesh and Mexico are the observers in the WPNS.
Its member countries include Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Indonesia, Japan, Cambodia, Tonga, Malaysia, New Zealand, Brunei, Papua New Guinea, China, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Russia, Vietnam, Thailand and United States.
TBP and Agencies