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SYDNEY: China is participating for the first time in Australia’s largest maritime exercise as more than 3,000 personnel from 27 countries, including Pakistan, engage in joint training off the strategic northern port of Darwin.

Exercise Kakadu is hosting 23 ships and submarines from across the Indo-Pacific region, enabling them to establish familiarity which helps to prevent conflict on the high seas and to coordinate disaster relief efforts.

The other countries taking part in the exercise are Japan, Pakistan, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Cook Islands, Fiji, France, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, East Timor, Tonga, United Arab Emirates, US and Vietnam.

Commander Anita Sellick of the Australian frigate HMAS Newcastle said two Royal Australian Navy sailors were accepted onto China’s naval frigate Huangshan during the drill.

Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2018