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    The past decade has seen the normalization of China-foreign joint military exercises and games

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    By Luo Zheng and Feng Sheng

    BEIJING, August 12 — Less than a week after the end of the China-Pakistan joint maritime exercise Sea Guardians-2, the joint China-Laos Peace Humanitarian Medical Rescue Exercise Train-2022 was launched in Vientiane. Subsequently, the International Army Games (IAG) 2022 will be unveiled. Over the past decade, the Chinese military has been proactive in organizing and participating in bilateral or multilateral joint exercises and training, marking the institutionalization and standardization of joint exercises, training and competitions between China and other countries.

    Beginning in 2012 and before the outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese military held more than 100 joint exercises with the militaries of more than 30 countries, including 17 in 2013, 24 in 2015, and more than 30 in 2018, an ever-increasing trend in numbers. Meanwhile, the contents of these joint exercises had ranged from anti-terrorism and disaster relief to peacekeeping, naval escort, medical service, security, special operations, etc. ., as well as the extension of exercise areas from the periphery of China to the high seas and oceans. Participating forces, as before dominated by the army, also included the navy, air force and combined forces. In addition, the participating countries have been expanded from neighboring countries to countries in Europe, America, Africa and Oceania.

    Over the past decade, joint exercises, training and games between China and other countries have increasingly emphasized combat readiness. In particular, the four strategic military exercises, namely Vostok-2018, Tsentr-2019, Caucasus-2020 and ZAPAD/INTERACTION-2021 held from 2018 to 2021, provided important platforms for the Chinese military to strengthen basic capabilities . As joint exercises, training and games come closer and closer to real combat, their role in sharpening elite troops like a “whetstone” has become increasingly important.

    Over the past decade, joint training and exercises between China and other countries have always emphasized the theme of “peace”, thus helping to promote the building of a community of destiny for mankind. Over the past ten years, the word “peace” has appeared in the code names of many China-foreign joint exercises and training activities. For example, the series of exercises of the peacekeeping mission under the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has effectively enhanced the joint counter-terrorism capability of SCO member states and played an important role in safeguarding regional security and stability; the joint Peace and Friendship and Peace Rescue exercises have laid a good foundation for cooperation between the Chinese military and the armies of neighboring countries in humanitarian relief operations. And the Shared Destiny-2021 exercise which took place last September is the first UN peacekeeping field training exercise ever organized by the Chinese military, demonstrating the army’s unwavering resolve. to protect world peace.

    Whether fighting terrorism side by side or working together in humanitarian rescue operations, Chinese soldiers have repeatedly demonstrated in the training arenas and international exercises that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army has always been a steadfast force for maintaining world peace.

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