China and the Philippines on Wednesday conducted joint military exercises on “search and rescue and combating fire at sea” in the waters of Philippine’s capital Manila, according to the Philippine Coast Guard. 

The exercise aims to “exercise interoperability” and “strengthen the capabilities of coast guards of two countries in responding to such crises,” the coastal guard said in a statement on its official website.

The maritime drills have been conducted as part of the China Coast Guard’s week-long port call in Manila.

A Chinese coast guard vessel arrived in Philippines on Tuesday for the first time in its history.

Read more: Philippines, China hold joint maritime drills in Manila