By Li Xiaobo
MALAYSIA, Oct. 30 (ChinaMil) -- The 10-day "Peace and Friendship 2018" joint military drill, involving China, Malaysia and Thailand, concluded at Port Dickson of Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia on Monday. All the subjects of the drill were completed and all three parties achieved the goals.
The closing ceremony was held at the Army Academy in Port Dickson at 10:30 a.m. The national anthems of China, Malaysia and Thailand were played at the scene, and the exercise coordinators from the three countries made closing remarks.
Major General Li Weiya, exercise coordinator from China, said at the closing ceremony that the "Peace and Friendship 2018" joint military drill is a high-level multinational force joint military exercise.
It is the first time that the exercise with "joint and compulsory peace operations" as the subject was held in the joint staff department. It is the first time that the long-range air delivery via Hong Kong International Airport was held. It is also the first time that the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Macao Garrison participated in such joint exercise.
Li said that this exercise has changed from a bilateral exercise between China and Malaysia to a joint drill among China, Malaysia and Thailand. Mutual exchanges, communications and reflections are very meaningful and have broadened their horizons.
The consensus on some major issues will produce special enthusiasm and the power of common advancement, added Li.
According to the consensus reached by the Chinese, Malaysian and Thai armed forces, the "Peace and Friendship 2018" joint military drill was held in Malaysia from October 20 to 29. The exercise consists of the staff headquarters exercise and the actual combat training. The army special operations troops and naval ships of the three countries carried out onshore, port and maritime exercises respectively. During the drill, the three parties also carried out various forms of cultural exchanges and ship opening activities.
Lt Gen Suphot Malaniyom, exercise coordinator from Thailand, spoke highly of Chinese participating officers and soldiers of the drill. He said that the Chinese military now has the capability to send troops to any place in need around the world, and can help those friendly nations in need. He believed that this drill will further enhance the capability of Chinese troops to implement their missions.
Malaysian Armed Forces Joint Force Commander Vice Admiral Syed Zahiruddin Putra also spoke highly of the excellent performance of the Chinese participating officers and soldiers. He said that this drill truly reflects the solidarity and cooperation of the three countries and enhances their friendship. The joint drill is of great significance to effectively solving the current global security challenges.
The "Peace and Friendship 2018" is a planned joint exercise program within this year. The joint drill is not targeted at any third party and has nothing to do with the current regional situation. After the closing ceremony, the participating troops from the three countries will return to their home countries successively from October 30 to 31.