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Sino-Malaysian military drills get underway

By Wang Xiaodong in Paya Indah,Malaysia | China Daily | Updated: 2016-11-23 07:11

Exercise Aman Youyi 2016, a joint military exercise between China and Malaysia code-named Peace and Friendship Exercise 2016, was launched in Paya Indah Wetlands in Selangor, Malaysia, on Tuesday.

"The military exercise serves as an important platform for the two armies to jointly tackle challenges and maintain regional peace and stability," General Fang Fenghui, chief of the Joint Staff Department of China's Central Military Commission, said at an opening ceremony for the event.

"We hope the two armies take the opportunity to continue cooperation in fighting terrorism, tackling maritime challenges, safeguarding maritime security and promoting regional peace and stability," Fang said.

The exercise, involving about 300 military members from China and Malaysia, with observers from the Royal Thai Armed Forces, has a theme of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. It will focus on indoor shooting, hostage rescue, combat skills, jungle tracking and survival skills, and will run through Friday.

"Multilateral initiatives such as Exercise Aman Youyi help to create greater synchronization and stronger awareness in relation to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations," said Zulkifeli bin Mohd Zin, Malaysia's defense chief.

"The exercise will transcend political ideologies, differing doctrines, race, religion or national affiliations, and act as an effective platform to strengthen camaraderie and build confidence," he added.

China and Malaysia had a similar, but larger-scale, joint exercise in September last year, in which military forces from the two countries participated in drills on joint vessel escort, rescuing hijacked vessels and disaster relief.

"This is the first time I have participated in a joint exercise between China and Malaysia," said Ryanda Adrian, a lieutenant with the Royal Malaysian Navy. "I hope we can cooperate with the Chinese People's Liberation Army in real missions in the future."

Yang Xi, a 22-year-old soldier from PLA's Southern Theater Command, said this is the first time she has been abroad for a mission.

"I will take part in a combat skills exercise in the next few days, and some of my colleagues will take part in jungle tracing and survival drills," she said. "I am very excited and hope I can perform well."

Yang said she will also participate in some sports activities, such as tug-of-war, with Malaysian counterparts in the next few days.

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