China and Saudi Arabia will hold their second joint naval exercises in October, China's Defence Ministry has announced, as Beijing strengthens relations with Riyadh.
The exercises, dubbed "Blue Sword 2023", will be held in October in Guangdong, a southern Chinese province, the ministry said.
"This joint training focuses on overseas maritime counter-terrorism operations, exercises dedicated to snipers, ship driving, helicopter landing and rescue," Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian told a press briefing.
The two powers have already organised joint naval exercises in 2019, according to the official Saudi press agency SPA.
They are "aimed at deepening practical and friendly cooperation between the two armies and improving the level of practical training of troops," Wu Qian said.
The exercises come at a time when China is seeking to strengthen its relations with Riyadh and has taken on a new role as a mediator in the Middle East.