A joint counter-terrorism exercise with 10 ASEAN members and eight dialogue partners including China, US, Russia, and India kicked off Wednesday in Guilin, South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Military officers said the drill will boost joint efforts to address looming terrorist threats in Southeast Asia and neighboring regions.
Over 800 military personnel, 10 aircraft, and more than 60 armored vehicles are participating in the drill held by ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) countries.
As the largest land-based counter-terrorism drill since 2011, when the expert working group on counter-terrorism was established for ADMM-Plus countries, the drill is aimed at deepening exchanges and cooperation among the member nation's military units and enhancing capabilities to tackle security challenges, the Xinhua News Agency reported Wednesday.
The joint drill's distinguishable characteristics include its significant number of participants, dynamic troop formations, and practical exercising scenarios, said Lieutenant General Zhang Jian, commander of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Southern Theater Command Ground Force, during the opening ceremony, noting the event will boost communication, cooperation, and capabilities to deal with regional terrorist threats.
This drill will create the foundation for future joint counter-terrorism operations, said a major general from the Royal Thai Armed Forces, during the ceremony.
Since terrorist threats have loomed large in Southeast Asia and neighboring regions, ADMM-Plus nations have reached a consensus on joint counter-terrorism, Zhong Linjiang, an officer with the Staff of Southern Theater Command Ground Force, told the Global Times.
The joint drills are real scenario-oriented, and will include situations involving simultaneous and concentrated attacks, Zhong said.
Terrorism is a common threat faced by many countries, and China, as a major responsive nation, is dedicated to providing more security services and goods to the world, Zhong said, noting the drill is an example of China and ASEAN jointly exploring counter-terrorism mechanisms in urban areas.