Military observers from 15 countries Monday watched live maneuvers by Chinese military forces for the first time.
At a military practice base in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, 27 military observers from the United States, Britain, France, Russia, Germany, Canada, Thailand and other countries watched a modern fierce battle drill participated in by 5,000 Chinese soldiers from various branches of the armed forces.
After the six-hour practice, organized by China's Beijing Military Command, Steven Krstic from Britain said it was the firsttime for him to see so much Chinese military equipment as well as so many different kinds of Chinese armaments.
These war games were very successful, and it was good for Chinato invite foreigners to observe them, said Ahmet Celik from Turkey.
The foreign military observers were the first overseas guests to be invited to China's largest tactical drill base.
The purpose of inviting foreign observers to watch Chinese military maneuvers is to adapt to the world new military renovation, and to strengthen exchanges between the People's Liberation Army (PLA) with foreign armed forces, sources with China's Ministry of National Defense said.
On Aug. 6, China and the four other Shanghai Cooperation Organization members -- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan -- launched their first joint anti-terror military exercises in Kazakhstan and China.
The PLA has established military ties with the armed forces of over 140 countries, and in the past 20 years more than 2,500 foreign military delegations have visited China, according to the Ministry of National Defence.