Ballarat engages with Chinese in trust building exercise

The Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Ballarat has conducted a range of maritime exercises with PLA-Navy vessel Huangshan following a successful visit to the People’s Republic of China.

The Passage Exercise (PASSEX), which was conducted after Ballarat departed Zhanjiang port, included surface target firing, a search and rescue exercise, communication exercises and a formation activity with aerial photography.

The Chinese Navy and the Royal Australian Navy conduct regular exercises in an effort to enhance mutual understanding, facilitate transparency and build trust.

Australia’s Chief of Joint Operations, Vice Admiral David Johnston, said the frigate’s activities show the valued working relationship between the two navies.

“This exercise and other Australian Defence Force activities with China continue to enhance our mutual understanding and build trust between our two nations. 

“We will continue to seek out further opportunities for maritime engagement with the PLA-N in supporting our shared objectives for regional stability,” VADM Johnston said.

Ballarat is currently on a South East Asian Deployment with further bilateral exercises planned with regional nations and the multilateral Exercise BERSAMA SHIELD, a Five Power Defence Arrangements activity between Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, NZ and the UK.

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