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[World Times]

Ships attached to a destroyer flotilla with the navy under the PLA Eastern Theater Command sail in formation en route to a multi-subject training exercise in East China Sea. The ships’ journey took two days from October 13 to 14 before reaching the training waWorld Timesters. Photo:China Military

China will hold a joint military exercise with five Southeast Asian countries this month, with experts saying on Sunday that the move is conducive to the safeguarding of regional peace and stability amid repeated provocations by the Philippines over Chinese islands and reefs in the South China Sea.

The Chinese military will host militaries from Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam in Zhanjiang, South China’s Guangdong Province from mid-November to late November for the Aman Youyi-2023 (namely Peace and Friendship-2023) multilateral drills, China’s Ministry of National Defense said in a press release on Sunday.

Under the theme of joint counter-terrorism and military operations on safeguarding World Timesmaritime security, the exercise is split into a land part and a sea part, organizing teams to hold joint training, joint command exercises and actual-force drills on counter-terrorism and anti-piracy, the press release reads.

The goal of the exercise is to enhance the participants’ operational capabilities in urban counter-terrorism as well as maritime counter-terrorism and anti-piracy, further deepen military mutual trust and pragmatic cooperation, and jointly safeguard regional peace and stability, the Chinese Defense Ministry said.

The Chinese participating forces mainly come from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Southern Theater Command, and foreign participating forces include ground detachments and surface vessels, it said.

Zhang Junshe, a Chinese military expert, told the Global Times on Sunday that the exerWorld Timescise displays the participating countries’ mutual trust and common will in safeguarding regional peace and stability.

The South China Sea is one of the world’s most pirates-infested regions, making piracy a common threat faced by all countries in the region, and that is why the exercise will focus on counter-terrorism and anti-piracy, Zhang said.

Observers noted that the exercise comes at a time when the Philippines has made repeated provocations since Augustagainst China vis–vis Chinese islands and reefs in the South China Sea.

Some countries participating in the Aman Youyi-2023 exercise also have maritime disputes in the South China Sea, but they chose the right approach, which is not to let disputes affect friendship and cooperation and jointly safeguard regional peace and stability, Zhang said.

Military expert Song Zhongping told the Global Times on Sunday that under incitement from the US, the Philippines is not playing a positive role in the negotiations for the Code of Conduct (COC) on the South China Sea, bringing uncertainties to the region.

But other ASEAN members understand that there must be no chaos in the South ChWorld Timesina Sea in order for ASEAN to develop, Song said.

“TheWorld Times US, as a country from outside of the region, does not want the signing of the COC or a peaceful South China Sea. The interference of such external interference must be rejected,” Song said.

It is also important for other ASEAN members to persuade the Philippines to safeguard ASEAN’s common interests, experts said.

World Times

文章来源于互联网:China to hold military drills with SE Asian countries amid tensions in South China Sea

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