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China urges world navies to team up

THE world's navies must work together to combat threats such as terrorism and piracy, Wu Shengli, commander admiral of the Chinese navy, said yesterday.

Wu told a meeting of international naval officials that terrorism, separatism, extremism, piracy and transnational crimes such as smuggling pose serious challenges to maritime peace and safety.

It is the obligation of the naval forces of all countries to work together to ensure safety of the oceans and to crack down on these threats, Wu said.

Such obligations, however, should be carried out only under the guidance of the UN, he added.

"We must abide by the principles and the regulations of the United Nations Charter when handling maritime affairs and carrying out military operations on the oceans," he said.

Governments should respect each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity and should not use, or threaten to use, military force in international relations, Wu said.

He said maritime disputes should be resolved through consultation and negotiation in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and all countries should avoid military competition and conflict.

Exchanges and cooperation between naval forces of different countries will enhance mutual trust and development, he said.

All countries should also strive to protect the ocean environment, Wu told a seminar attended by senior naval officials from around the world to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the navy, which is under the People's Liberation Army.

China launched a grand maritime ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of its navy on Monday off the coast of the eastern city of Qingdao.

The four-day celebration features seminars, a boat race and a fleet review scheduled for tomorrow that will include the first public appearance of the country's nuclear submarines.

Twenty-one foreign naval vessels from 14 countries, including the United States and Russia, and delegations from 29 countries will take part.

The PLA Navy was founded on April 23, 1949.


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