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Chinese army mainly engaged in humanitarian rescue in "Cobra Gold" exercise

People's Daily Online

(People's Daily Online) 16:11, February 14, 2014

The Cobra Gold 2014 multilateral military exercise is set to open on Feb. 11 in Thailand's Phitsanulok. China has sent troops to attend the military exercise for the first time. Seventeen Chinese soldiers, mainly from the Guangzhou Military Area Command, will participate in humanitarian relief drills. They will not engage in any combat maneuvers.

The exercise will involve forces from eight countries including Thailand, the United States, Indonesia and the Republic of Korea, and will end on Feb. 23. Since 2002 China has participated in this largest joint military exercise in Southeast Asia in the capacity of observer.

According to reports, the conventional exercises of 'Cobra Gold' includes three major elements: command post, humanitarian rescue, and field operations.

China has participated in humanitarian relief drills with ASEAN countries more than once. China also sent troops to participate in the 2013 ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Disaster Relief Exercise in Thailand. This was the first time that the Chinese army's chemical defense force had taken part in an international multilateral joint exercise.

In addition, China also participates regularly in bilateral military exercises with ASEAN countries, such as the Sino-Thai Anti-terrorist Joint Drill, 'Assault 2013', which was held in Thailand in December 2013. In the opinion of Thai analysts, China's participation in 'Cobra Gold' marks the beginning of further reinforcement of military exchanges and will help to maintain regional stability among the various participants.

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