The People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy conducted a submarine rescue drill in the East China Sea on Saturday, which Chinese military experts on Monday dubbed a "worldwide challenge."
The drill involved frigates, submarines, rescue vessels and anti-submarine aircraft from multiple PLA Navy forces, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Sunday.
"Submarine rescue work is a worldwide challenge with high risks," Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Monday.
The drill showed China understands its importance and is trying to prepare support for submarines in need, Song said.
The drill simulated malfunctions in a submarine, including loss of communications with headquarters.
Rescue forces arrived at the scene as fast as possible and began searching by air and sea, Xinhua reported.
The drill effectively trained the joint-search capability of vessels and aircraft, the life-saving capability of the rescue team and the survival capability of the submarine crew members, Xinhua quoted Wang Rui, a director at the PLA Navy staff department, as saying.
The exercise also explored the ocean joint-command mechanism and promoted overall development of China's submarine rescue capability, Wang said.
It was no easy task to find the exact location of a stranded submarine, Song said.
Oxygen is limited on a submarine and the pressure caused by the weight of seawater can cause serious problems for any underwater vessel at any time.
The rescue equipment must dock with the submarine to rescue its crew, Song said, noting the process is risky and difficult.
The submarine crew also practiced survival skills, Xinhua reported.
China could rescue Chinese and foreign submarines, Song noted.