BEIJING, March 29 (Xinhua) -- Cooperation between China, India and Japan on international naval escort activities was proceeding smoothly, said a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Thursday.
As the reference country of the first quarter, China announced its escort schedule in time and India and Japan made their own escorting plans accordingly so that the three managed to carry out their escort operations in a more orderly and efficient way, Yang Yujun said at a monthly press briefing.
The practice had won acknowledgement from the shipping industry and the countries and international organizations concerned, said the spokesman.
Yang said that India will be the next reference country from April to June, followed by Japan in the third quarter of this year.
"Some other countries have also expressed their wishes to take part in the coordination mechanism," said the spokesman.
China sent its first convoy fleet to the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters in December 2008. Last month, a Chinese military official said the country had deployed 10 navy flotillas, including 25 warships, 22 helicopters and over 8,400 officers and soldiers to the Gulf of Aden for escort missions over the past years.