A delegation of 84 defense attachés from 57 countries toured a research and development center and a trial manufacturing and testing site of the Chinese People's Liberation Army's Quartermaster Equipment Institute in Beijing on Thursday.
It was the first time the institute, which is affiliated with the General Logistics Department, was opened for such a visit.
"This is part of a program we have initiated for the defense attachés to learn more about Chinese military research," said Zhou Bo of the Defense Ministry's Foreign Affairs Office.
Founded in 1960, the institute conducts research, development and engineering of the bedding, individual equipment, field cooking equipment and combat rations of the military.
The delegation was shown an array of new support equipment, including self-heating food packages, thermal materials and improved uniforms.
Zhou Guotai, president of the institute, briefed the visitors about the institute and answered their questions.
He said that this institute had developed some of the emergency relief materials that China sent to tsunami-ravaged countries early this year.
"It's a symbol of China's opening and growing confidence to show this facility to other countries," said JKS Virk, India's deputy defense attaché in China.
Lajos Racz, a Hungarian defense attaché and dean of the Beijing Military Attaché Corps, said the opening of the institute would "help promote foreign officers' understanding and trust of the Chinese army and enhance friendships."
In the past few years, foreign defense attachés have been organized to visit Chinese military academies and research institutes and to observe military exercises
(Xinhua News Agency March 25, 2005)