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Western Pacific Naval Symposium closes

2014-04-24 08:32 Xinhua Web Editor: Mo Hong'e

The biennial meeting of the Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) held in the Chinese port city of Qingdao concluded on Wednesday after endorsing a naval agreement to reduce uncertainties and risks at sea.

The agreement, the Code for Unalerted Encounters at Sea, provides member states of the symposium with a tactical maneuvering and signal manual to reduce interference and uncertainties during naval ship and aircraft encounters.

WPNS members also agreed unanimously to allow Pakistan become the fourth observer of the WPNS. Bangladesh, India and Mexico are the other three observers.

Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy Commander Wu Shengli said at the closing ceremony that the symposium had allowed naval leaders from different countries to broaden their horizons and promoted mutual understanding and friendship.

He said he hoped all the sides would take concrete measures in cooperation, pursue more common interests, promote personnel exchanges at various levels and extend the influence of the symposium.

The Indonesian Navy will hold the next biennial meeting of the symposium.

The WPNS was established in 1987 with the goals of promoting pragmatic cooperation between navies of its member countries, strengthening mutual understanding and trust, and safeguarding regional maritime security. It comprises navies whose countries border the Pacific Ocean region.

This is the first time that China, one of the 12 founding members of the WPNS, has hosted its biennial symposium.

Meeting attendees were briefed about the search and rescue progress for the lost Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Member countries of the WPNS are Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, United States and Vietnam.

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