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Destroyer heads home after peace exercises

CHINESE naval destroyer "Guangzhou" left Pakistan yesterday afternoon at the end of the 10-day "Peace 09" military exercise in the Arabian Sea off the southern port of Karachi.

Military Attache at the Chinese Embassy Major General Li Mengyan, Consul-General in Karachi Chen Shanmin and a rear admiral of the Pakistani navy were among some 150 Pakistani sailors and Chinese at the port to see off the Chinese ship and its sailors.

Earlier, a flag-lowering ceremony was held at the Pakistan Navy Dockyard marking the end of Exercise AMAN 09, the second exercise of the AMAN series. AMAN is an Urdu word meaning "peace" and the slogan of the exercise is "Together for Peace."

Twenty warships, nine aircraft and six special force teams from 12 countries participated in the military exercise last week.

In an exercise divided into two phases, seminars, workshops and cultural events were held ashore in the first phase.

From March 9 to 12, some 20 warships carried out exercises like passing mines, anti-terror operations, shooting floating objects, search and rescue, night encounter exercises, and cross deck landings by helicopter.

"Guangzhou" destroyer Commander Senior Captain Chen Yueqi said China sent its naval ship and a 12-member special force team to the AMAN 09 exercise to show its goodwill and its responsibility to maintain world peace and stability as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

Chen said China has stuck to its policy of peaceful development and its navy hoped to broaden exchanges and cooperation with other navies.

The first of the AMAN series was held in March 2007 involving ships of 14 nations, including China, France, Italy, United Kingdom and the United States.


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