China, US mil­i­taries stage joint hu­man­i­tar­ian re­lief

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

KUN­MING, China: Chi­nese and US com­man­ders yes­ter­day stressed the im­por­tance of main­tain­ing mil­i­tary-to-mil­i­tary ex­changes un­der the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump, say­ing they are cru­cial for build­ing con­fi­dence be­tween the two armed forces that re­main deeply wary of each other.

Troops from the two sides staged joint drills in the south­west­ern Chi­nese city of Kun­ming yes­ter­day in an ef­fort to bet­ter co­or­di­nate re­sponses to hu­man­i­tar­ian dis­as­ters. “This kind of ex­change acts as a bridge to pro­mote re­la­tions be­tween the two mil­i­taries and I am sure it will be con­ducted in an even higher level in the fu­ture,” said Gen. Liu Xiaowu, com­man­der of ground forces for China’s South­ern Theater Com­mand.

US Army Pa­cific Com­man­der Gen. Robert Brown also said he would ad­vise the in­com­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion to main­tain the mo­men­tum of en­gage­ment. “These types of mil­i­tary-to-mil­i­tary ex­changes are re­ally crit­i­cal be­cause of the trust they build,” Brown said. Trump has yet to ar­tic­u­late a clear de­fense pol­icy to­ward China and the re­gion as a whole, unset­tling of­fi­cials in close US al­lies such as Ja­pan and South Korea. Held since 2005, the US-China Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment Ex­change is part of ef­forts to build trust and co­or­di­na­tion at a time when the two gov­ern­ments are fre­quently at odds over dis­putes in the South China Sea and else­where.

KUN­MING, China: US Army Pa­cific com­man­der Gen. Robert Brown, front row cen­ter, and Gen. Liu Xiaowu, front row third right, the com­man­der for South­ern Theater Com­mand Army of Chi­nese Lib­er­a­tion Army (PLA), ap­plaud with their sol­diers at a group photo ses­sion af­ter con­duct­ing the US-China Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment Ex­change (DME) drill at a PLA’s train­ing base yes­ter­day.—AP

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