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China joins U.S.-Thailand military drill for the first time

02-12-2014 22:03 BJT

In Thailand, the annual multilateral military drill Cobra Gold is taking place. For the first time, Chinese troops are joining the military drill led by the United States and Thailand.

A total of seventeen Chinese soldiers will participate in humanitarian relief drills on the 18th of this month. The Chinese squad will also take part in command and coordination operations, engineering assistance, medical aid and military medical exchanges.

Troops from Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Malaysia are also joining the drill. Eleven other countries have sent military observers. This year's drill focuses on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

Cobra Gold is the largest Asia-Pacific Military drill and it has been held in Thailand every year since 1982. The debut of Chinese troops at the military drill this year is being welcomed by various parties. Military officers say the participation of Chinese troops will help boost military exchanges, so as to maintain safety and stability in the region.

"China is absolutely welcomed. They are doing many, many great things as far as engineering and also medical assistance, so it's great to be alongside them, with the US and Thais," Lt. Col. Wes Hayes, Director of U.S. Army Combined Joint Information Bureau, said.

"The cooperation among countries has become increasingly closer when it comes to regional safety and stability. Gold Cobra can serve as a medium to increase the scale and scope for cooperation. For now, the first-time experience can help us better understand each other," Captain Nuttapong Ketsumboon of Royal Thai Navy, Cobra Gold 2014, said.

Editor:James |Source: CCTV.com

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