Malaysia, China begin joint aid and relief exercise

A Malaysian soldier in action at Kampung Tanduo. Chinese and Malaysian armed forces have begun a joint exercise in Paya Indah, a wetlands park in the Malaysian state of Selangor.
A Malaysian soldier in action at Kampung Tanduo. Chinese and Malaysian armed forces have begun a joint exercise in Paya Indah, a wetlands park in the Malaysian state of Selangor.PHOTO: THE STAR PUBLICATION

PAYA INDAH • Chinese and Malaysian armed forces have begun a joint exercise in Paya Indah, a wetlands park in the Malaysian state of Selangor, as the two countries aim to forge closer military ties and cooperation.

Aman Youyi 2016 (Peace Friendship 2016) is a joint exercise on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief involving 410 soldiers from the Malaysian Armed Forces and 195 from the Chinese People's Liberation Army. This is the third time China and Malaysia are conducting such joint exercises.

At the opening ceremony of the exercise on Tuesday, Mr Fang Fenghui, a member of China's Central Military Commission (CMC) and chief of the Joint Staff Department under the CMC, expressed hope that the two sides can take this opportunity to make continuous joint efforts in combating terrorism and addressing maritime threats.

"We've always believed that nothing is more important than the all-round growth of the friendly relations between the two countries and the two militaries, as well as jointly safeguarding peace and stability in the region, including the South China Sea," said Mr Fang.

Mr Zulkifeli Mohd Zin, chief of the Malaysian defence force, said initiatives such as Aman Youyi would afford greater synchronisation and stronger awareness in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. He said these are essential since a total of 160 disaster events occurred in the Asia-Pacific last year, causing 16,000 deaths and losses amounting to US$45.1 billion (S$64.5 billion).

During the five-day exercise, which began on Monday and ends tomorrow, the Malaysian armed forces will demonstrate jungle survival, tracking mission and hand-to-hand combat methods. China's army will demonstrate short-range shooting and hand-to- hand combat.

XINHUA, SIN CHEW DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 24, 2016, with the headline 'Malaysia, China begin joint aid and relief exercise'. Print Edition | Subscribe