SELANGOR, Malaysia, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Chinese and Malaysian armed forces launched their first joint military exercise here Friday, aiming to deepen all-round strategic partnership between the two countries.
The drill, coded "Peace and Friendship 2015" and scheduled to be conducted in the Malacca Strait and surrounding waters, includes exercises for joint escort, joint search and rescue, hijacked vessel rescue, weapons use, humanitarian rescue and disaster relief.
Yi Xiaoguang, deputy chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, said at a press conference after the opening ceremony that the Chinese armed forces are committed to promoting cooperation in the defense and security area with countries by the South China Sea including Malaysia.
He said the drill aims to boost China-Malaysia all-round strategic partnership, enhance bilateral pragmatic exchanges and cooperation, improve the ability of the two sides to address non- traditional security threats and safeguard regional maritime security.
He added that the joint exercise does not target a third party and is not related to the regional situation.
Chief of the Malaysian Armed Forces Zulkifeli Mohd. Zin said the joint exercise provides a platform for coordination and cooperation between the two armed forces, which is of great significance to the improvement of ties between the two armies as well as the strategic relations between the two countries.
He said that by conducting the drill, the two armies could take advantage of their respective strength to jointly deal with major natural disasters and play a greater role in enhancing regional security.
The joint drill is also the largest bilateral military exercise between China and a country from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.