China, Cambodia wrap up joint exercise with comprehensive live-fire phase
Published: Apr 06, 2023 08:03 PM
Soldiers take part in the Dragon Gold 2020 joint drill in Cambodia's southwestern Kampot province, March 26, 2020. (Xinhua)

Soldiers take part in the "Dragon Gold 2020" joint drill in Cambodia's southwestern Kampot province, March 26, 2020. (Xinhua)

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) and the armed forces of Cambodia recently wrapped up the Golden Dragon-2023 joint exercise after a comprehensive live-fire phase simulating a terror attack on a major international event, with experts saying on Thursday that the drills consolidated military exchanges and cooperation between the two countries and contributed to regional security, peace and stability.

The exercise was held in a training base in Cambodia on Wednesday with the focus on providing security for important events and humanitarian aid. Participating troops from the two countries formed a joint force to deal with mock emergency situations including a terror attack during a major international sports event, the PLA Daily reported on Thursday.

Under the command of a joint headquarters, the troops mobilized to seal off the exercise area, dealt with emergencies, searched for and eliminated targets before moving in to secure the area, the PLA Daily reported.

The drills featured 10 live-fire training courses including warning and containment, hostage rescue, epidemic disinfection and dismantling of mines and bombs.

A closing ceremony was held after the drills, the report said, which quoted Chinese and Cambodian defense officials and military officers as saying that the exercise enhanced the two countries' friendship, deepened security cooperation, and made a positive contribution to regional peace and stability.

Observers from nine ASEAN members and defense attachés from multiple countries to Cambodia also participated in the event, the PLA Daily said.

The China-Cambodia joint exercise is focused on tackling non-traditional security threats rather than confrontational traditional security threats, a Chinese military expert told the Global Times on Thursday, requesting anonymity.

It boosted exchanges and cooperation between the two countries' militaries, and more joint drills will likely be organized in the future, the expert said.

More than 3,000 personnel from both sides, including those from the PLA Army, Navy and Joint Logistic Force, participated in the exercise, which marked the fifth time China and Cambodia have organized the Golden Dragon series drills, according to the report.

Upon arrival in Cambodia prior to Golden Dragon-2023 in March, a PLA Navy landing ship carrying the Chinese troops held a joint maritime exercise with the Cambodian Navy for the first time, a move analysts said marked a high level of comprehensive military exchange and cooperation between China and Cambodia.