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Sino-Thai Training Drill Wraps Up
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Descending from the air suspended by ropes and coordinating their stealthy movements with gestures, a team of Chinese and Thai special forces kicked down a door and got down to work - rescuing the hostages and capturing the drug traffickers.


These were two scenarios covered during the two-week China-Thailand combined training program, which concluded yesterday.


Codenamed "Strike-2007," the training marked the first joint military training China had held with another country.


"The China-Thailand combined training is a pioneer project, despite its small scale," said Jia Xiaoning, deputy director of the foreign affairs office of the Ministry of National Defense.


He said the exercise provided a useful working model and would lead to more combined drills between China and other countries.


"With the further opening-up of the Chinese military and the deepening of the communication with foreign armies, the People's Liberation Army will make a more positive contribution to world and regional peace and stability," Jia said.


The anti-terror training involved 30 soldiers from each country. Divided into three stages, the exercise involved climbing, shooting, combat techniques, jungle orienteering and a study of special forces methods.


Colonel Sombat Koonyotying, head of the Thai contingent, said the operation had gone smoothly and that the troops held extensive and profound discussions and exchanges.


"Though we speak different languages and have different combat techniques under battle conditions, we shared our experiences in the joint training through interpreters, simple English and gestures," he said.


While the Thai troops learned and mastered submission techniques based on Chinese martial arts, they also showed their Chinese counterparts the well-known art of Thai kickboxing.


Analysts said the most striking feature of the joint training was that the exercises were carried out in mixed formations.


Peng Guangqian, a senior researcher with the Beijing-based Academy of Military Sciences, said: "Such detachments are very conducive for the two sides to learn from each other's strong points to offset their own shortcomings."


He said the combined training had given the two sides a chance to observe one another and would enhance friendship, mutual-understanding and promote pragmatic cooperation.


(China Daily July 30, 2007)

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