China, US militaries stage joint humanitarian relief
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