The Straits Times
Published on Nov 30, 2012

US, China militaries hold exercise to build trust


CHENGDU, China (AP) - The United States and Chinese militaries on Friday wrapped up a modest disaster-relief exercise hailed as a tentative step in building trust between armed forces that often view each other as adversaries.

While not a full-fledged operation, the two-day exercise at People's Liberation Army barracks outside the city of Chengdu consisted of U.S. and Chinese officers sitting around a table facing a flat-panel video screen and discussing how they would respond to an earthquake in a fictional third country.

Though this was the eighth meeting to discuss disaster relief, it was the first time both sides discussed a joint response to a simulated disaster. The leading officers called that a step forward in building familiarity and trust.

U.S. Major General Stephen Lyons said the exercise began the groundwork for the day when the two militaries will operate side-by-side in an actual humanitarian operation.