BEIJING: China and Pakistan will hold a month-long joint military exercise to increase cooperation between the two militaries to jointly deal with terrorist threats including those targeting joint projects with China.
According to a statement released by China’s Ministry of National Defense, a Chinese unit from a special forces brigade of the People’s Liberation Army Xinjiang Military Region has departed from their base camp and has begun mobilizing in Pakistan for the “Warrior VII” joint exercise, using vehicles and aerial transportation.
This is the seventh “Warrior” series exercise between the two countries’ special forces, the ministry said, observing that the drills will emphasize on strengthening cooperation and communication. They will learn from each other’s combat experience and boosting the ability to deal with security threats and launch diversified missions.
The statement says a new exercise subject, joint defense of key facilities, will be added to the drills, as troops will engage in counter-terrorism in mountainous areas.
Li Wei, a counter-terrorism expert at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations in Beijing told media sources that key facilities might include iconic government and civilian buildings and major projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The drills will feature live ammunition that will put both commanders’ and soldiers’ capabilities to the test, said Yang Lei, commander of the Chinese unit, in the defense ministry statement, noting that the event will enrich military training cooperation and strengthen the traditional friendship between the Chinese and Pakistani armies.
Chinese and Pakistani air forces wrapped up the half-month-long Shaheen VIII joint exercises, featuring some of the two countries’ top aircraft, in northwestern China in August.
The two countries will also hold a joint naval exercise in Pakistani waters in January.