US, China plan joint military drills

Story highlights

  • The countries will focus on disaster relief
  • The announcement comes during military tensions between the US and China

The drills, focusing on disaster relief, will take place in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, and include 134 military personnel from China’s People’s Liberation Army and 89 members of the US military, China’s military spokesperson, Wu Qian, said at a news briefing.

The announcement of the joint effort comes even as there have been military tensions between the two counties. As recently as last week, the US drew the wrath of Chinese defense officials when an American guided-missile destroy sailed through the South China Sea to make a point about unimpeded access in international waters.

The drills will take place between November 13-18, Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported.

“The scenario of the joint exercise and exchange is professional disaster relief in high-altitude regions. It consists of three phases, namely, academic exchange, command post exercise and live troop exercise,” Wu said.

US Pacific Command issued a statement confirming the joint exercises.

“Next month, US and Chinese forces will be participating in the Disaster Management Exchange (DME), a regularly-scheduled activity that focuses on a multi-national response to a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” Cmdr. David Benham, US Pacific Command spokesman, said in a statement.

He added that the drills help “US and Chinese forces prepare to respond to a large-scale disaster.”

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