China, U.S. conduct piracy drills

Aug. 26, 2013 at 9:19 AM

BEIJING, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- The Chinese military said joint military operations with the United States off the coast of Yemen were a sign of broad-based defensive relations.

The U.S. and Chinese militaries started joint anti-piracy drills in the Gulf of Aden last weekend, China Daily reported Monday.

The newspaper said the U.S. Navy's escort destroyer USS Mason took part in a drill alongside missile-equipped destroyers. Helicopters and support crews from both sides took part in a mission expected to last two days.

The Chinese government said it agreed to take part in Pacific Rim exercises next year as part of what China Daily said were improved military ties between the two countries.

China is suspected of launching cyberattacks on U.S. strategic interests. It denies the allegation, saying its military relationship with the United States is open and transparent.

Defense officials from both sides met in Washington last week. China's official Xinhua News Agency reported U.S. national security adviser Susan Rice said both sides would work on bilateral exchanges, including at the military level.

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