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China going for the gold as troops' competition begins

By Cui Jia in Korla, Xinjiang, Wu Yong in Changchun and Zhu Lixin in Guangshui, Hubei | China Daily | Updated: 2017-07-31 07:43

The Chinese portion of the International Army Games 2017, which includes six events, kicked off on Sunday, a day after the Games officially opened in Russia.

The International Army Games 2017, which will conclude on Aug 12, comprises 28 events held in Russia, China, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Some people call the comprehensive games the military Olympics.

President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory video to the opening in Russia on Saturday.

Xi, also chairman of the Central Military Commission, sent in the video his greetings to attendees on behalf of the Chinese government and the commission.

The International Army Games have been successfully held three times after being initiated by the Russian Defense Ministry in 2014, Xi said, adding that they have become a prominent component of regional military ties.

It is the fourth time the Chinese Army has participated in the games and the first time it organized some events. The Chinese Army is looking forward to competing with the other attendees, Xi said.

International military cooperation is significant in strengthening strategic mutual trust and uphold-ing global and regional peace and stability, Xi said.

On Sunday, opening ceremonies for the six events held in China took place in Korla, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Changchun, Jilin province, and Guangshui, Hubei province. Teams from 11 countries will compete in a series of events based on combat.

In addition to Xi's congratulatory video, similar remarks from Russian President Vladimir Putin and leaders of other co-organizing countries also were played at the opening ceremonies.

Four of the events are being held by the PLA Ground Force, including the Suvorov Attack - one of the most popular events. The event features competition among infantry fighting vehicles and will kick off on Monday in Korla. Except for Russia, which brought its own vehicles, the other four foreign countries will use Chinese infantry fighting vehicles.

"The PLA Ground Forces team is very young, having an average age of 24. They have been training intensively for the events. We are here to win," said Major General Ye Jianjun, head of the Ground Force delegation.

The PLA Air Force's Aviadarts event will be staged at three airports in Jilin. The event, which began on Sunday, mainly tests the pilots' stamina and flying skills, Air Force spokesman Shen Jinke said.

Eight types of aircraft, including fighter jets, bombers and attack helicopters, will take part in the event. China will use its J-10B fighter jet to compete with Russian fighters. Only China and Russia are competing in the event.

Seven countries will participate in the Airborne Platoon event, also held by the Air Force, in Guangshui starting on Monday. China's only domestically made airborne combat vehicle, the ZBD-03, will be put to the test.

China going for the gold as troops' competition begins
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