CONGHUA, Guangdong: Descending from the air suspended by ropes and
coordinating their stealthy movements with gestures, a team of Chinese and Thai
special forces kicked down a door and got down to work - rescuing the hostages
and capturing the drug traffickers.
These were two scenarios covered during the two-week China-Thailand combined
training program, which concluded yesterday.
Codenamed "Strike-2007", the training marked the first joint military
training China had held with another country.
"The China-Thailand combined training is a pioneer project, despite its small
scale," said Jia Xiaoning, deputy director of the foreign affairs office of the
Ministry of National Defense.
He said the exercise provided a useful working model and would lead to more
combined drills between China and other countries.
"With the further opening-up of the Chinese military and the deepening of the
communication with foreign armies, the People's Liberation Army will make a more
positive contribution to world and regional peace and stability," Jia said.
The anti-terror training involved 30 soldiers from each country. Divided into
three stages, the exercise involved climbing, shooting, combat techniques,
jungle orienteering and a study of special forces methods.
Colonel Sombat Koonyotying, head of the Thai contingent, said the operation
had gone smoothly and that the troops held extensive and profound discussions
"Though we speak different languages and have different combat techniques
under battle conditions, we shared our experiences in the joint training through
interpreters, simple English and gestures," he said.
While the Thai troops learned and mastered submission techniques based on
Chinese martial arts, they also showed their Chinese counterparts the well-known
art of Thai kickboxing.
Analysts said the most striking feature of the joint training was that the
exercises were carried out in mixed formations.
Peng Guangqian, a senior researcher with the Beijing-based Academy of
Military Sciences, said: "Such detachments are very conducive for the two sides
to learn from each other's strong points to offset their own shortcomings."
He said the combined training had given the two sides a chance to observe one
another and would enhance friendship, mutual-understanding and promote pragmatic
(China Daily 07/30/2007 page2)