The naval squadrons of South Korea and China conducted joint anti-piracy drills in the Gulf of Aden and waters off the coast of Somalia this week, according to China’s military on Friday, in a rare show of military cooperation between the two nations.
The one-day drills, took place on Tuesday, involved a South Korean destroyer Chungmugong Yi Sun-sin and a Chinese guided-missile frigate Liuzhou, the People’s Liberation Army Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese military, reported late Thursday.
Both South Korea and China have joined international anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia.
Rear Adm. Yu Manjiang, commander of the Chinese naval unit, told the Chinese military newspaper that, “The two sides worked in coordination in all the subjects, fully reflecting the military competence and upbeat character of the officers and soldiers from both sides.”
Yu said the drills “deepened their mutual trust and friendship.”
South Korea and China are former battlefield foes as China fought alongside North Korea in the 1950-53 Korean War, while the United States and 20 other allied countries fought on South Korea’s side under the U.N. flag.
But Seoul and Beijing have steadily improved ties since establishing diplomatic relations in 1992. Though their ties had initially focused heavily on economic aspects, the two countries have increased dialogue and cooperation on political and security issues in recent years as well.