Terrorist incidents such as the 2008 Mumbai attack pose a major threat for China’s Navy in guarding the country’s largest city and financial hub Shanghai, a senior PLA Navy officer has said.
“Stability and development is the main momentum for the whole world now. Here also, for me, anti-terrorism is the traditional operation. Shanghai is an economic centre and shipping and trade centre, and I really take anti-terrorist elements as main threats to peace and stability,” Wei Xiandong, Chief of Staff, Shanghai Naval Garrison, said during an interaction with a delegation of Indian journalists.
When asked does the threat perception come from any country as Shanghai’s sister city Mumbai faced the 2008 attack by Pakistani terrorists who travelled in a boat, he said that Shanghai has not confronted any real terrorist attack or incident and the Navy would learn from the experience of other countries to meet the challenge of terrorism and to maintain the security environment.
“We did not confront any real terrorism attack or accidents in Shanghai or any other surrounding coastal cities. What I can is that we would learn anti-terrorism experience from countries around the world during our job to protect the city,” he said.
According to China’s military strategy, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy will enhance its capabilities for strategic deterrence and counterattack, maritime manoeuvres, joint operations at sea, comprehensive defence and comprehensive support.
The Shanghai Naval Garrison is under the jurisdiction of the Eastern Sea Fleet.
The Eastern Sea Fleet, which was the first naval force formed by the People’s Republic of China in 1949, is a comprehensive force consisting of submarines, naval vessels and different specialised service units which conduct operations and undertake different missions, Wei said.
During President Xi Jinping’s visit to India last year, a bilateral agreement was signed to make the two metropolises – Shanghai and Mumbai – as sister cities and IT and tourism are some of the major areas in which both the cities have potential to jointly cooperate to forge ties between the two Asian neighbours.