“China and Saudi Arabia will hold their second-ever joint naval drills next month, Beijing’s defence ministry announced Thursday, as China forges deeper ties with the Middle Eastern power.

The drills, dubbed ‘Blue Sword 2023’, will take place in China’s southern province of Guangdong in October, Beijing said.

‘This joint training focuses on overseas maritime counter-terrorism operations, conducting exercises on sniper tactics, boat driving, helicopter landing, and joint rescue,’ defence ministry spokesperson Wu Qian told a press briefing.

The two countries previously held joint naval drills in 2019, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.”