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China, Thailand stage combined training of special troops
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21:46, July 16, 2007

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China and Thailand on Monday started their first-ever combined training of special troops in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province.

Coded "Strike-2007", the two-week training also marks the first joint military training China held with other countries.

"The training is a new way of cooperation between Chinese and foreign military forces," Zhang Qinsheng, commander of Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Guangzhou Military Area Command, said at the ceremony to launch the training.

"Compared with joint military exercises, the combined training means cooperation in a deeper sense," he said.

As a combined training generally lasts longer than a joint military exercise, it offers trainees more opportunities to have a closer observation of other military forces, regarding arms equipment, campaign-related thinking, and personnel quality, Zhang said.

The anti-terror training involves 30 soldiers from the special troops of both sides. Divided into three stages, the training include climbing, shooting, combat techniques, jungle crossing, and study on tactics of special forces.

Zhang said the training will help deter terrorist forces and safeguard regional peace and stability.

Malai Keewtiang, assistant Chief of Staff of the Royal Thailand Army, said the training showcased the substantive cooperation between the armies of China and Thailand.

China and Thailand held their first joint search and rescue exercise in December 2005. Since then, the two have planned and prepared for the combined training.

Yang Yi, an expert with the PLA National Defense University, said the training will lead to more combined drills between China and other countries.

Source: Xinhua

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