China and ASEAN countries held a joint maritime search and rescue drill at waters off Zhanjiang, a port city in South China’s Guangdong province on October 31.
It is the largest-ever joint maritime search and rescue drill China and ASEAN countries have held to date.
Representatives of relevant agencies as well as maritime search and rescue forces from China and six ASEAN countries, i.e. Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Brunei, participated in the Human Life Rescue and Win-Win Cooperation-themed drill, which involved 20 ships, three aircrafts and about 1,000 personnel.
The drill went on under completely realistic conditions without any preset scripts, said Zhuang Zeping, deputy directors of the Guangdong Maritime Search and Rescue Center and the Guangdong Maritime Safety Administration. “There are also a lot of ships from ASEAN countries navigating in waters of the South China Sea, the goal of the drill is to explore ways of increasing the success rate of maritime search and rescue as much as possible based on the human life-first concept,” Zhuang added.
The drill, sponsored by the Ministry of Transport of China and with the participation of search and rescue agencies from ASEAN countries, is another pragmatic joint action between China and ASEAN to implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, strengthen maritime search and rescue cooperation and improve capabilities of conducting joint emergency search and rescue operations.
In addition, the China-Cambodia and China-Laos maritime emergency-rescue hotline construction project contract-signing and hotline-opening ceremonies were also held in Zhanjiang on Tuesday morning, marking the preliminary progresses of the maritime emergency-rescue hotline project between China and ASEAN countries.