Chinese, Russian, Iranian Naval Exercises near Gulf of Oman Coast

Meanwhile, the 14th China-EU Strategic Security Dialogue was held in Beijing

On Monday, March 11, political and military leaders from China and the European Union participated in the 14th Strategic Dialogue on defense security policy in Beijing, while the fleets of China, Russia, and Iran began joint exercises in the Gulf of Oman. The China-European talks focused on progress in bilateral relations, defense cooperation, major regional disputes, and “other issues of mutual interest,” a Chinese defense ministry spokesman said.

Meanwhile, faced with a growing Western military presence in the Red Sea region, the navies of China, Iran, and Russia have launched an annual joint exercise called Maritime Security Belt 2024. They are taking place in the Gulf of Oman from March 11 to 15. As announced by Beijing’s defense ministry, “the Chinese fleet will consist of the guided missile destroyer Urumqi, the guided missile frigate Linyi, and the supply ship Dongpinghu.” The Russian fleet came from the Pacific Ocean and consists of the missile cruiser Varyag and the frigate Marshal Shaposhnikov.

In total, more than 20 ships took part in the maneuvers, which have been held annually since 2018. This year, for the first time, representatives of the navies of Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Oman, India, and South Africa are participating as observers. The main task of the maneuvers is to ensure the safety of maritime economic activities in the area. Ships from the three countries are expected to conduct special exercises that will repel several floating and aerial drone attacks. Finally, the scenario involves the rescue of a ship “that has been attacked and hijacked by pirates.”