Top US navy commanders and a major destroyer will visit China for celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) navy.
Dalian Naval Academy students train on March 25 to prepare for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army navy on April 23. [Li Ziheng]
Seven ships from three countries have so far confirmed they will join the international fleet review in Qingdao, Shandong province, headquarters to the North China Sea Fleet, one of three naval fleets in China.
The 6,800-ton USS Fitzgerald DDG-62, a Japan-based destroyer from the 7th fleet, will attend the review, scheduled for April 20-24.
The confirmation came after the announcement of US Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead's visit to China, agreed to by President Hu Jintao and US President Barack Obama during the G20 summit in London last week.
Admiral Roughead will meet his Chinese counterpart, commander in chief of the PLA navy Admiral Wu Shengli, during his visit. The US navy also announced that Vice Admiral John Bird, the 7th Fleet commander, will join Roughead.
The purpose of Roughead's visit is to foster naval and military relationships between the two nations and explore areas for enhanced cooperation, said Roughead's spokesman Captain Conrad Chun.
Admiral Noman Bashir, Chief of Naval Staff of the Pakistan Navy, also told China Daily earlier that Pakistani Navy frigate PNS Badr 184 and supply ship PNS Nasr 47 will join the fleet review, and he may also attend the celebrations.
Three warships from the Eastern Fleet of the Indian navy, which include missile destroyers INS Mumbai, INS Ranveer, missile corvette INS Khanjar and tanker INS Iyoti left India for China on March 20 for the fleet review, Indian media reported earlier.
Two warships of Russia's Pacific Fleet, which completed an anti-piracy operation in the Gulf of Aden, started a visit to the south China port of Zhanjiang, headquarters of the South China Sea Fleet, on Monday. These ships will pass by the review host city Qingdao on their journey back to Vladivostok. More than 40 naval vessels from 15 countries are expected to take part in the celebrations.