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China and Pakistan have wrapped up a seven-day joint military drill. It was the largest exercise between the two Asian neighbors in a decade.
And for the first time, the two countries combined air force and ground assault to launch three-pronged attacks on mountain-based terrorists.
One is perhaps the most disciplined and technically proficient army. The other is one of the most experienced counter-terrorism forces.
The two armies launched a real situation counter-terrorism drill attacking simulative terrorists along the China-Pakistan border who were holding local herdsmen hostage.
Helicopters transported soldiers to a location near the target as ground troops approached the terrorists' forming a three-dimensional encirclement.
With a digital guiding system and mobile communication devices, within half an hour the air force and ground troops had destroyed the targets and freed the hostages.
After the exercise, General Ma Xiaotian of the People's Liberation Army explained the practical significance of the drill.
General Ma Xiaotian, Deputy Chief of General Staff of PLA, said, "Our troops have improved a lot over the years but they lack one thing-- real fighting experience. The Pakistani army has much more experience dealing with terrorists in terms of training and tactics. This exercise will go a long way in exploring bilateral mechanisms and solutions in the face of unconventional threats.
Lieutenant General Arshad from the Pakistani Army says the exercise has achieved its goals, but added that bilateral military cooperation will not stop here.
Lieutenant General Waheed Arshad, Pakistan Army, said, "We are discussing ways and means to enhance this partnership, to help it expand to spheres other than counter terrorism. I am extremely satisfied with the spirit and standard shown by the armies of both sides."
Later, the two sides held a closing ceremony and officially ended the 7-day drill.
"Observers say this is not a mere showcase of the military might of the two countries. But a leap forward in the strategic partnership of the two armies and a bonding experience for the soldiers."
And that bonding has happened on the battlefield and off it.
Military observers say the joint training helps the two sides trust each other more, and lays a foundation for the two armies' joint actions on the real battlefield in the event of a real terrorist attack.
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