China joins Indonesian-hosted naval drill despite recent run-in

Two Chinese warships have set sail for Indonesia and the second edition of the Indonesia-hosted multi-national exercise in waters off Padang, and Siberut and Sapura islands, Indonesia.

Exercise Komodo, set to be held between April 12 – 16, 2016, will involve more than 30 countries from the Asia-Pacific region, and beyond.

Type 054A Guided missile frigate Weifang and rescue vessel Changxingdao, left the Qingdao port in China’s Shandong Province on March 26 to join an exercise which will also be attended by Russia.

The Chinese government confirmed the Navy participation just a week after an incident in which a heavily armed Chinese patrol vessel on March 19 ordered a smaller Indonesian Navy vessel to free a Chinese fishing boat caught fishing illegally in the Natuna Sea. The Chinese fishing boat was inside the Indonesian exclusive economic zone.

Tensions are continually on the rise in the South China Sea as China is reclaiming land and sea, and claiming most of the territory for itself.