China go­ing for the gold as troops’ com­pe­ti­tion be­gins

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By CUI JIA in Korla, Xin­jiang, WU YONG in Changchun and ZHU LIXIN in Guang­shui, Hubei Con­tact the writ­ers at cui­jia@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The Chi­nese por­tion of the In­ter­na­tional Army Games 2017, which in­cludes six events, kicked off on Sun­day, a day af­ter the Games of­fi­cially opened in Rus­sia.

The In­ter­na­tional Army Games 2017, which will con­clude on Aug 12, com­prises 28 events held in Rus­sia, China, Azer­bai­jan, Be­larus and Kaza­khstan. Some peo­ple call the com­pre­hen­sive games the mil­i­tary Olympics.

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping sent a con­grat­u­la­tory video to the open­ing in Rus­sia on Sat­ur­day.

Xi, also chair­man of the Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion, sent in the video his greet­ings to at­ten­dees on be­half of the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment and the com­mis­sion.

The In­ter­na­tional Army Games have been suc­cess­fully held three times af­ter be­ing ini­ti­ated by the Rus­sian De­fense Min­istry in 2014, Xi said, adding that they have be­come a promi­nent com­po­nent of re­gional mil­i­tary ties.

It is the fourth time the Chi­nese Army has par­tic­i­pated in the games and the first time it or­ga­nized some events. The Chi­nese Army is look­ing for­ward to com­pet­ing with the other at­ten­dees, Xi said.

In­ter­na­tional mil­i­tary co­op­er­a­tion is sig­nif­i­cant in strength­en­ing strate­gic mu­tual trust and up­hold- ing global and re­gional peace and sta­bil­ity, Xi said.

On Sun­day, open­ing cer­e­monies for the six events held in China took place in Korla, Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion, Changchun, Jilin prov­ince, and Guang­shui, Hubei prov­ince. Teams from 11 coun­tries will com­pete in a se­ries of events based on com­bat.

In ad­di­tion to Xi’s con­grat­u­la­tory video, sim­i­lar re­marks from Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin and lead­ers of other co-or­ga­niz­ing coun­tries also were played at the open­ing cer­e­monies.

Four of the events are be­ing held by the PLA Ground Force, in­clud­ing the Su­vorov At­tack — one of the most pop­u­lar events. The event fea­tures com­pe­ti­tion among in­fantry fight­ing ve­hi­cles and will kick off on Mon­day in Korla. Ex­cept for Rus­sia, which brought its own ve­hi­cles, the other four for­eign coun­tries will use Chi­nese in­fantry fight­ing ve­hi­cles.

“The PLA Ground Forces team is very young, hav­ing an av­er­age age of 24. They have been train­ing in­ten­sively for the events. We are here to win,” said Ma­jor Gen­eral Ye Jian­jun, head of the Ground Force del­e­ga­tion.

The PLA Air Force’s Avi­adarts event will be staged at three air­ports in Jilin. The event, which be­gan on Sun­day, mainly tests the pi­lots’ stamina and fly­ing skills, Air Force spokesman Shen Jinke said.

Eight types of air­craft, in­clud­ing fighter jets, bombers and at­tack he­li­copters, will take part in the event. China will use its J-10B fighter jet to com­pete with Rus­sian fight­ers. Only China and Rus­sia are com­pet­ing in the event.

Seven coun­tries will par­tic­i­pate in the Air­borne Pla­toon event, also held by the Air Force, in Guang­shui start­ing on Mon­day. China’s only do­mes­ti­cally made air­borne com­bat ve­hi­cle, the ZBD-03, will be put to the test.

ZOU HONG / CHINA DAILY

Vis­i­tors take pho­tos with Rus­sian sol­diers at the In­ter­na­tional Army Games 2017 in Korla, Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion.

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