September 10, 2013. David Pugliese - Defence Watch
Three China People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) ships arrived in Hawaii last week to join the US Navy in a search-and-rescue exercise, according to Associated Press. The PLAN guided missile destroyer Qingdao, a frigate and a supply ship took part in exercises Monday with the USS Lake Erie off Waikiki in order to foster operational familiarity between the two navies, according to the report. PLAN ships last visited the U.S. in 2006, when they stopped in Pearl Harbor and San Diego for communications drills and search-and-rescue exercises, while the two nations last held a joint drill in 2012 during an anti-piracy exercise off Somalia, the report notes.
Meanwhile, Admiral Wu Shengli, commander of the PLAN, is in San Diego to visit USN Third Fleet headquarters and meet with USN Chief of Operations, Admiral Jonathan Greenert, according to another AP report. China will participate for the first time in the Rim of the Pacific exercise off Hawaii in 2014, the world’s largest maritime exercise.