The ‘Security Bond-2023’ exercises in the Gulf of Oman seek to “inject positive energy” into the region, Beijing said
FILE PHOTO: The Shenyang destroyer of the Chinese Navy heads to sea during the Russian-Chinese naval drill Naval Cooperation 2015, Vladivostok. © Sputnik / Vitaliy Ankov
Russia, China and Iran are holding a five-day maritime exercise, seeking to bolster their naval security, Beijing’s Defense Ministry announced on Wednesday.
The ministry said the three-nation ‘Security Bond-2023’ wargames in the Gulf of Oman run from March 15 to 19, and that several unspecified countries will also be joining.
“This exercise will help deepen the practical cooperation between the navies of the participating countries, further demonstrate the willingness and ability to jointly maintain maritime security,” the ministry stated, adding that it will “inject positive energy into regional peace and stability”.
China’s guided-missile destroyer Nanning will be taking part, the ministry said, noting that ‘Security Bond-2023’ will build on the drills held by China, Russia and Iran in 2019 and 2022.
In late 2019, similar three-nation exercises took place in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea, with a spokesman for the Iranian military, Abolfazl Shekarchi, saying the goal was to counter terrorism and piracy. In 2022, the ‘Security Bond’ maneuvers encompassed the northern part of the Indian Ocean and involved the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the elite branch of Tehran’s military.