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by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Sept 18, 2012
Chinese and US navy vessels conducted a joint military exercise on Monday as part of an anti-piracy drill in the Gulf of Aden, state media reported.
The five-hour drill involved a Chinese missile frigate and a US guided missile destroyer, the ministry said, according to China's Xinhua news agency.
Beijing lauded the drill as being "conducive to increasing mutual understanding and trust between the two navies and deepening bilateral cooperation in non-conventional security fields," Xinhua said.
China's deployment to the coast of piracy-plagued Somalia starting in 2008 has marked the first time in modern history that Beijing has deployed its forces well beyond its territorial waters.
Anti-piracy operations have involved historic competitors including Japan and the United States.
The United States and China have only held limited exercises in the past focused on search and rescue operations. Earlier this month, US and Chinese coast guards conducted their first full-scale rescue exercise, which took place off Hawaii.
China and the United States have also periodically held technical-level military talks. The United States has strongly advocated such contacts, believing that communication will help reduce the likelihood of incidents at sea.
21st Century Pirates
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