Monday 25th September, 2017
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Beijing [China], May 19 (ANI): China on Friday said it had 'no problem' with the bilateral exercise between India and Singapore, said to be holding navy exercises in the South China Sea, citing it didn't mind such exchanges if they were due to "friendly purposes."

"We have no problem with it if such exchange and cooperation is normal, out of friendly purposes, and conducive to bilateral relations and regional peace and stability," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters.

She, however, added that such exercises shouldn't intentionally hurt the security and interest of other stakeholders in the region.

"Meanwhile, when engaging in such exchange and cooperation activities, relevant countries should mind that they don't intentionally hurt other countries' security and interests and not negatively affect regional peace and stability," said Chunying.

The seven-day long bilateral exercise SIMBEX-17 between the Indian Navy (IN) and Singapore Navy (RSN) commenced yesterday in South China Sea.

The exercise is aimed at increasing interoperability amongst the RSN and IN as well as developing common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations.

The thrust of exercises at sea this year would be on Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), integrated operations with Surface, Air and Sub-surface Forces, Air Defence and Surface Encounter Exercises.

SIMBEX is an acronym for "Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercises".

Bilateral cooperation between Singapore and India was first formalised when RSN ships began training with the Indian Navy in 1994. (ANI)

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