KUNMING, August 2 -- The opening ceremony of the humanitarian assistance disaster relief field training exercise (HADR FTX) as part of Exercise Cobra Gold 2021 was held at Rayong, Thailand, on July 30. Due to the pandemic influence in Thailand, over 40 troops from 9 countries, including China, America, Thailand, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and India took part in the joint exercise by video calls for the first time.
It is learned that the joint exercise will last until August 3, and a 12-person Chinese squad, mainly from the PLA 75th Group Army, was assigned to attend the desktop dry run and high-level forum of the HADR FTX. Earlier, the Chinese squad has received intensified training on the standard action procedures for multinational forces, ASEAN disaster emergency response, and Thailand disaster prevention and reduction system, etc.
In the forum started on July 30, eight experts from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Center) and other professional institutions had in-depth exchange on “Civilian-Military Coordination in Humanitarian Rescue Operation”, “ASEAN Disaster Response”, “Civilian Protection”, etc. in the context of coping with flood and earthquake relief.
Peng Xiaofei, head of the Chinese squad, said that this participation will show a good image of Chinese military to the world, demonstrate China's positive stance in participating in international multilateral security and defense cooperation, and add positive factors to deepening practical cooperation with Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries.
As an influential joint military exercise in Southeast Asia, “Cobra Gold” is held in Thailand on an annual basis. China started to join the “Cobra Gold” exercise as an observer in 2002 and then assigned an actual military squad for the first time in 2014. Since then, China has actively conveyed Chinese experience to enhance the international joint disaster relief capacity, which has been widely praised by all sides.