China navy holds Indian Ocean drills

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Associated Press

Posted on February 4, 2014 at 2:02 AM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 4 at 3:03 AM

BEIJING (AP) — A three-ship Chinese navy squadron has concluded exercises in the Indian Ocean and sailed on to the western Pacific, showing off the growing reach of the country's seagoing forces.

State broadcaster CCTV said Tuesday the squadron includes China's largest amphibious landing ship, the Changbaishan, along with a pair of destroyers. It said they reached the Indian Ocean on Jan. 29 and carried out a series of drills on the themes of counter-piracy, search and rescue, and damage control.

Although not directly targeted at India, the exercises underscore China's rivalry with the other Asian giant.

China has been systematically developing a blue-water navy that has global reach, sending ships to join anti-piracy patrols off the coast of Somalia and taking part in joint exercises in the Mediterranean Sea and elsewhere.

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