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The joint naval exercise by China, Iran, and Russia

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China, Iran, and Russia commenced the Security Belt-2024 joint naval exercise near the Gulf of Oman on Monday, focusing on enhancing regional maritime security. This exercise, the fourth of its kind since 2019, involves more than 10 vessels from the three countries and is structured around anti-piracy and search and rescue training courses. The joint effort aims to promote peace and security in the region through three phases: harbor, sea, and summarize.

The Chinese contingent includes warships from the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s 45th escort task force, such as the Type 052D guided missile destroyer Urumqi, the Type 054A guided missile frigate Linyi, and the Type 903A comprehensive replenishment ship Dongpinghu. Iran contributed vessels like the frigates Alborz and Jamaran, while Russia sent the guided missile cruiser Varyag and the large anti-submarine warfare ship Marshal Shaposhnikov.

Experts view this exercise as a significant step in strengthening cooperation among the three navies. Zhuo Hua from Beijing Foreign Studies University highlighted that these regular drills enhance traditional friendships, improve interoperability at sea, and bolster pragmatic cooperation to ensure navigation safety in vital international sea lanes.

The inclusiveness of this exercise is evident with envoys from Azerbaijan, India, Kazakhstan, Oman, Pakistan, and South Africa attending as observers. This multilateral participation underscores a shared commitment to peace and stability without indicating any military confrontation.

Contrary to Western media linking these exercises to regional tensions or conflicts, Chinese military experts emphasize that this joint effort is not targeted at any specific country or related to current regional situations. Zhang Junshe stressed that unlike some US-led military exercises with geopolitical motives, this trilateral exercise by China, Iran, and Russia is solely focused on maritime security in the Gulf of Oman.

The Security Belt-2024 joint naval exercise signifies a commitment to regional stability and cooperation among China, Iran, and Russia while promoting peace in international waters.

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