Chinese and Singaporean navy will conduct a joint drill at the mouth of the Yangtze river on Sunday as part of their first bilateral event.

After participating in the Rim of the Pacific Excercise in Hawaii, the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) frigate RSS Steadfast arrived at the port in Shanghai on Thursday.

The RSS Steadfast along with the People's Liberation Army (Navy) Jiangkai II-class frigate CNS Jingzhou will hold a half-day drill. More than 200 officers from both sides will take part in the drill that will involve communication and manoeuvring exercises.

Both the navies will use the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (Cues) while practicing on Sunday.

RSN fleet commander Cheong Kwok Chien said on Thursday that "we both subscribe to Cues".

"It's a very simple and effective way for navies at sea when we meet to be able to communicate effectively and to prevent collisions," he told The Straits Times.

The Ministry of Defence said in a statement that the drill will deepen practical cooperation between the RSN and PLA Navy following the inaugural bilateral exercise - Exercise Maritime Cooperation - which was conducted in the South China Sea in May last year.

At the summit in Laos on Wednesday, China and Asean pledged to implement Cues in the South China Sea to avert any potential conflicts there.

Col Cheong referred to the PLA Navy as a "close friend" and said the port call is "a great signal that between the navies, we continue to cooperate and work together".

"We will keep finding opportunities to exercise between the RSN and the PLA Navy," he added.

Col Cheong will call on PLA Navy East Sea fleet deputy commander Zhi Tianlong, Shanghai Naval Garrison commander Wang Jianxun and Shanghai municipal government vice-mayor Shi Guanghui on Friday to discuss more on this as this is his first visit to China after being appointed as the RSN fleet commander in August.

"Next year, when the RSN celebrates our 50th anniversary, we look forward to the PLA Navy ships coming to Singapore. This will give us the opportunity to work and train together again, Cheong said.