|The missile destroyer Haikou (R), missile frigate Yueyang and supply ship Qiandaohu(C) are seen during the supply at sea in Pacific Ocean, during the the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) multinational naval exercises on June 13, 2014. After 6 days' sail, the Chinese fleet participating in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) multinational naval exercises joined naval forces from Singapore and the United States in waters off Guam on Saturday. (Xinhua/Hu Kaibing)
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ABOARD HAIKOU, June 14 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese fleet joined naval forces from Singapore and the United States in waters off Guam Saturday en route for the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) multinational naval exercise.
The Chinese forces include missile destroyer Haikou, missile frigate Yueyang, supply ship Qiandaohu, hospital ship Peace Ark, two helicopters, a commando unit and a diving squad, totalling 1,100 officers and soldiers.
The fleet departed Monday from military harbors in the southern city of Sanya and eastern city of Zhoushan for the Chinese navy's first involvement in RIMPAC.
At the sendoff at Sanya, Xu Hongmeng, a deputy commander of the navy, said the mission was an important part of efforts to build a new model of relations between China and the United States and their militaries.
The mission was significant in diplomatic terms as it would help relations between China and nations in the south Pacific, Xu said.
Joining the Chinese fleet in the waters north of Guam are guided missile cruiser USS Chosin and guided missile destroyer USS Howard from the United States, and multi-role frigate RSS Intrepid from Singapore.
Representatives from each ship will hold a coordination meeting on the USS Chosin and then continue towards Hawaii as a joint fleet.
During the voyage, drills in artillery firing, emergency response and underway replenishment will be carried out.
RIMPAC, which started in 1971, is the world's largest multinational maritime military exercise. A total of 23 nations will participate in the 2014 exercise.