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China launches "North Sword" war game
www.chinaview.cn 2005-09-27 13:00:08

A "blue army" tank moves towards the "enemy" in the military exercise in a training base in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in north China September 27, 2005. (Xinhua)

Soliders and vehicles stand ready for the military exercise in a training base in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in north China September 27, 2005. (Xinhua)

    HOHHOT, Sept. 27 (Xinhuanet) -- China on Tuesday launched a military exercise code-named "North Sword 2005" in a training base in the northern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

    Forty foreign military officers from 24 countries were invited to observe the exercise at the Zhurihe training base, a tactical drill base in Inner Mongolia.

    The exercise was an important multilateral military exchange activity with the presence of the largest number of foreign observers since the founding of New China in 1949, said a Chinese defense official.

    The exercise demonstrates the sincere wish of the Chinese army to develop friendly cooperation with foreign armies, said Jia Xiaoning, deputy director of the Chinese Defense Ministry's Foreign Affairs Office.

    It will also help enhance mutual trust and understanding, deepen friendship and cooperation, and promote international and regional security cooperation, Jia said.

    Jia said the exercise was aimed at fully displaying the new concept of security based on "mutual trust and benefit, equality and cooperation."

    It is the fifth time for China to invite foreign observers to watch its military exercises since 2000. The North Sword 2005 drill, which involves about 16,000 soldiers, has invited the largest number of foreign observers.

    "The Chinese army is becoming more open and transparent," said Peng Guangqian, a major general of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA).

    "Such openness and transparency is a refution against the 'China threat' rhetoric," said Peng, who is also a research fellowwith the PLA's Military Academy of Sciences. "Facts have proved that China does not constitute any threat to any country, instead China is a major force in safeguarding world peace and stability."

    After the war game, Chinese and foreign military officers will hold academic discussions at the drill base, according to defense sources. Enditem

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