Joint Sino-Pakistani naval drills

A nine-day Sino-Pakistani naval exercise commenced in Pakistan’s port of Karachi on Monday with the arrival of a Chinese naval task group from its South Sea Fleet. Sea Guardians 2020 is the sixth in the bilateral series, which, according to the Pakistan Navy, will focus on “augmenting interoperability and strategic cooperation.”

The exercise will include a range of drills to share “professional experiences on contemporary and non-traditional threats at sea” to improve regional security cooperation, plus promote a “safe and sustainable maritime environment.”

While stating the exercise aims to “enhance the capabilities of the two navies to jointly cope with maritime terrorism and crime,” China’s military media branch stressed it had “nothing to do with the regional situation and is not target[ing] at any third party.”

This was likely an attempt to reassure India that the drills were unrelated to the tension between rivals India and Pakistan.

However, India will certainly have noted that Sea Guardians included warlike air defense systems, anti-missile technology, anti-submarine warfare capabilities, and live-fire and joint marine training drills.