The South Korean Navy’s chief of staff on Tuesday visited China to promote bilateral military ties and discuss ways to prevent maritime clashes in the Yellow Sea during peak fishing seasons, the Navy said.
On the first day of his four-day trip, Adm. Choi Yun-hee will meet Wu Shengli, commander in chief of the People’s Liberation Army Navy, in Shanghai to explore measures to curb naval clashes near the western sea border between Chinese fishermen and South Korean Coast Guards. The two will discuss ways to expand joint anti-piracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden as well, the Navy said.
Choi will also have meetings with Chinese military leaders in Beijing to share their opinions about the current situation on the Korean Peninsula.
On the last day, Choi will visit China’s North Sea Fleet in Qingdao to meet Vice Adm. Tian Zhong to expand communication channels between the two nations’ navies and see Chinese warships anchored at the port, including escort ships and submarines, it noted.
The two nations set up direct telephone lines between their navies and air forces in 2008 to help prevent accidental clashes at sea and in the air.
All nuclear submarines are concentrated in the northern fleet, and China’s first aircraft carrier Liaoning has been deployed there since February.
The fleet has strategic importance as it is known to carry out reconnaissance and submarine drills when South Korea and the United States jointly conduct naval training in the Yellow Sea.
It will be the first time for Chinese authorities to show its submarines to South Korean military officers, which Seoul officials cite as evidence of close relations between militaries of the two nations.
The Navy chief’s visit comes after the South Korean chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff last month visited China to strengthen military ties between the two Asian neighbors.