China hosts largest land-based ADMM-Plus joint counter-terrorism drill

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A joint counter-terrorism exercise with 10 ASEAN members and eight dialogue partners kicked off Nov 13 in Guilin, in southern China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The drill will boost joint efforts to address looming terrorist threats in Southeast Asia and neighboring regions, said a Global Times report citing military officials.

Over 800 military personnel, 10 aircraft, and more than 60 armoured vehicles are participating in the drill held by ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) countries. The ADMM-Plus comprises the ten ASEAN countries as well as Australia, China, Japan, India, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the United States.

As the largest land-based counter-terrorism drill since 2011, when the expert working group on counter-terrorism was established for ADMM-Plus countries, the drill is aimed at deepening exchanges and cooperation among the member nation’s military units and enhancing capabilities to tackle security challenges, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The joint drill’s distinguishable characteristics include its significant number of participants, dynamic troop formations, and practical exercising scenarios, said Lieutenant General Zhang Jian, commander of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Southern Theatre Command Ground Force, during the opening ceremony, noting the event will boost communication, cooperation, and capabilities to deal with regional terrorist threats.

This drill will create the foundation for future joint counter-terrorism operations, said a major general from the Royal Thai Armed Forces, during the ceremony.

Since terrorist threats have loomed large in Southeast Asia and neighbouring regions, ADMM-Plus nations have reached a consensus on joint counter-terrorism, Zhong Linjiang, an officer with the Staff of Southern Theatre Command Ground Force, told the Global Times.

The joint drills are real scenario-oriented, and will include situations involving simultaneous and concentrated attacks, Zhong said.

Picture from Global Times.