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Joint ASEAN humanitarian drill 'improves mutual trust'

Updated: 2016-09-12 12:26
By ZHANG YUNBI (chinadaily.com.cn)

A senior official with the People's Liberation Army told China Daily the recently concluded joint humanitarian exercise held by members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defense Ministers' Meeting Plus "improves the mutual trust and cooperation of the PLA and its counterparts''.

Rear Admiral Li Ji, deputy director of the Office for International Military Cooperation at the Ministry of National Defense, said the exercise also "laid a good foundation for the future pragmatic cooperation of the participating countries in conducting disaster relief".

Li made the comments after the joint exercise was held by the 10 ASEAN members and eight partners - Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, the Republic of Korea and the United States - for the second time from Sept 1 to Sunday in Thailand.

More than 1,200 military personnel as well as various warships and aircraft from the 18 member countries participated in the exercise.

The Chinese dispatched 120 soldiers consisting of commanding and staff officers, special operations soldiers, and an engineer and medical detachment for the land-based drill.

As for the maritime drill, 245 sailors as well as two Mi-171 helicopters and the amphibious landing ship Changbaishan with its Z-8 helicopter were involved.

Li said the Chinese completed all the drills and the numbers and scale of the participating forces was the second largest, following Thailand, the host country.

This has "shown the great importance attached by our military (to the drill) and the support for Thailand, the host", Li said.

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