China, Malaysia conclude first joint military exercise

Kuala Lumpur, Sep 22 (IANS) The first joint military exercise between China and Malaysia concluded on Tuesday.

The exercise, which began on September 18 in Malaysia’s Selangor state, included exercises for joint escort, joint search and rescue, hijacked vessel rescue, weapons use, humanitarian rescue and disaster relief, Xinhua news agency reported.

Yi Xiaoguang, deputy chief of the the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, said in an address at the closing ceremony that during the exercise the two sides have increased mutual understanding through sincere exchanges, enhanced mutual trust through close collaboration and promoted friendship through joint tasks.

Malaysian Deputy Defence Minister Johari Baharum said the exercise has demonstrated how the armed forces of Malaysia and China can cooperate to achieve their goals.

At a press conference held after the closing ceremony, Yi said China’s armed forces are willing to develop military-to-military relations that are non-confrontational and not directed against any third party.

China is committed to promoting cooperation and exchanges with defence departments and armed forces from all Asean countries, including Malaysia, to jointly face the new challenges and threats and maintain regional peace, Yi said.

The possibility of more countries participating in this kind of exercise in the future cannot be ruled out, he added.

It was the largest bilateral military exercise between China and an Asean country.

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