Thailand joins China’s first multinational peacekeeping exercise

Thailand joins China’s first multinational peacekeeping exercise

Soldiers assemble during the multinational live exercise “Shared Destiny-2021” held by the Chinese military at a tactical training base of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in Zhumadian, central China’s Henan province on Wedensday. (AFP photo)
Soldiers assemble during the multinational live exercise “Shared Destiny-2021” held by the Chinese military at a tactical training base of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in Zhumadian, central China’s Henan province on Wedensday. (AFP photo)

China wrapped up the country's first multinational peacekeeping exercise on Wednesday, demonstrating the extent of its military might on a huge training ground ringed by mountains.

Troops from Thailand, Mongolia and Pakistan joined China's armed forces for the 10-day exercise dubbed "Shared Destiny 2021" at the military base in Queshan county in central Henan province.

China's defence spending is the second largest in the world after the US, and tensions have dramatically increased between rival powers as Beijing has poured trillions of yuan into the modernisation of its military.

But the country has repeatedly sought to allay fears over its military intentions, projecting itself as a peaceful counterpoint to what it calls the "bullying, hegemonic behaviour" of Washington.

Senior Colonel Lu Jianxin told journalists invited to the base that the exercise "demonstrates China's support for the multilateral system centred on the UN" as Beijing sought to put its defence diplomacy on full display.

Blue-helmeted soldiers took turns role-playing various scenarios: civilians and refugees caught up in a brawl, or armed militants attacking UN forces.

Dozens of armoured vehicles, bulldozers, helicopters and tanks -- all bearing the UN logo -- were mobilised for the event.

As of the end of July, China was the eighth-largest contributor to peacekeeping troops, with 2,158 military personnel engaged around the world, according to UN data.

Chinese forces are mainly engaged in South Sudan, Mali, Lebanon and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

During her trip to Asia last month, US Vice President Kamala Harris described China's disputes with its neighbours over the South China Sea as undermining "the rules-based order and threaten[ing] the sovereignty of nations".

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (38)

France releases Khashoggi suspect, admits identity mistaken

PARIS: French authorities said Wednesday they had released a man arrested on suspicion of playing a role in the 2018 Istanbul murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, after realising he was not the same individual on an arrest warrant issued by Turkey.

8 Dec 2021

Death toll from Indonesia volcano eruption rises to 39

The death toll from the eruption of Indonesia's Mount Semeru has risen to 39, authorities said Wednesday, as rescuers scrambled to retrieve more bodies under the threat of further volcanic activity.

8 Dec 2021

Female employer accused of face-deforming torture

A female employer and her close aide were arrested in Sing Buri province for allegedly torturing and assaulting a male employee, leaving his face deformed and his battered penis infected.

8 Dec 2021