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Chinese military launched 'Iron Fist-2004' drill
The Chinese military launched an exercise with live ammunition codenamed "Iron Fist-2004," in the Queshan Training Base in Henan Province, central China, Saturday morning.
The exercise was carried out by a reinforced mechanized infantry division in mountains in the training base of the Jinan Military Area Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA).
Some 60 foreign military leaders, observers and officers from 16 countries observed the exercise, including Brunei, the Philippines, Tajikistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
The foreign military leaders and observers are from Brunei, the Philippines, Tajikistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
The exercise reflects China's diplomatic policy of "treating neighbors as friends and partners," and the new security concept of peaceful coexistence, mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation, according to military sources.
It not only embodies the Chinese military's sincere hope to develop friendly cooperative relations with the military of neighboring countries, but also creates a chance for Chinese and foreign officers to learn from each other, the sources said.
The exercise, which involves some PLA 10,000 officers and soldiers, is of positive significance to promoting regional security cooperation.
In 2002, China began gradual participation in multilateral military exercises to broaden security cooperation with other countries.
The following are military exercises that Chinese armed forces held with foreign armed forces or those that invited foreign military personnel to observe in recent years.
Oct. 10 to 11, 2002, China-Kyrgyzstan
The PLA and the armed forces of Kyrgyzstan held a joint anti- terror military exercise on the border of the two countries. It was the first time for China to hold a cross-border military maneuver with its neighbor and also the first bilateral anti- terror exercise conducted by members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
Aug. 6 to 12, 2003, SCO member nations
Armed forces from five SCO member countries including China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan took part in a joint anti-terror exercise named "Coalition 2003". It was the first exercise of its kind within the framework of the SCO and also the first time China participated in multilateral joint military maneuvers.
Aug. 25, 2003, China
China, for the first time, invited 27 foreign military observers from 15 countries to watch military maneuvers at its largest tactical drill base in Inner Mongolia, aiming to introduce Chinese armed forces to the world and strengthen cooperation with foreign armed forces.
Oct. 22, 2003, China-Pakistan
On Oct. 22,2003, Chinese and Pakistani naval forces conducted a joint search and rescue exercise off the coast of Shanghai in the East China Sea. It was the first time Chinese naval forces held a joint exercise with a foreign counterpart since the founding of the People's Republic of China.
Nov. 14, 2003, China-India
Chinese and Indian naval forces conducted a joint search and rescue exercise off the coast of Shanghai in the East China Sea, the first between the two armed forces.
March 16, 2004, China-France
Chinese navy held its first-ever maritime drills with its French counterpart, off the coast of East China's Qingdao city.
June 20, 2004, China-Britain
Chinese and British navies held joint maritime exercise for the first time, off the coast of East China's Qingdao city.
Aug. 6, 2004, China-Pakistan
The PLA and the Armed Forces of Pakistan held an anti-terrorism exercise at Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County, northwest China's Uygur Autonomous Region, bordering Pakistan.
Aug. 28, 2004, China-India
Chinese and Indian frontier troops held a joint mountaineering training, the first of its kind between the two armed forces, in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region.
Sept. 2, 2004, China
Some 50 servicemen from China and abroad observed an amphibian landing exercise in Shanwei of south China's Guangdong Province. The group consisted of military observers from France, Germany, Britain and Mexico.