China-Thai joint air force drill: A signal for more open Chinese air force

Source: China Military OnlineEditor: Ouyang
2015-11-17 17:18

BEIJING, Nov. 17 (ChinaMil) -- Colonel Shen Jinke, spokesman of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF), announced on November 11 that the PLAAF and the Royal Thai Air Force(RTAF) will hold a joint exercise codenamed “Falcon Strike-2015” at the Korat Airbase in Thailand from November 12 to 30, 2015.

The joint training aims at promoting mutual understanding between the aviation troops of the air forces of the two countries, deepening pragmatic cooperation and enhancing mutual trust and friendship between the Chinese PLA and the Royal Thai Armed Forces, Shen Jinke said.

Teng Jianqun, a researcher with the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association (CACDA) said in an interview that “Falcon Strike-2015” is an example of the military cooperation between China and Thailand and also reflects the trend of enhanced military cooperation between China and ASEAN member states in recent years. Such exercise also indicates that the Chinese Air Force is becoming increasingly international.

In the China-Russia Naval Interaction -2015 joint drill (II) held from Aug. 20 to 28 in the Peter the Great Gulf, waters off the Clerk Cape, and the Sea of Japan, the Chinese Air Force dispatched its warplanes including early warning aircraft, fighter jets and fighter-bombers to participate in the drill for the first time.

The maiden participation of the aviation troops of the Chinese Air Force in the China-Russia Naval Interaction -2015 joint drill (II) means that the Chinese Air Force is stepping up its pace of going global, Teng said.

From 2010 to 2014, there had been 13 joint drills between the aviation troops of the Chinese and foreign air forces. Furthermore, the Chinese Air Force sent its aircraft and pilots to participate in the Aviadarts-2014 and Aviadarts-2015 air force competitions.

Besides the aviation troops, the airborne units of the Chinese Air Force are also active in conducting joint drills and training with their foreign counterparts, which are from Asia, Europe and America.

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