Thailand-China to step up military ties
- Published: 8/05/2013 at 05:23 PM
- Online news:
The Unites States has "Cobra Gold", the annual joint military drill with Thailand, and China hopes to follow in its footsteps.
Defence Minister ACM Sukumpol Suwanatat, right, holds his first meeting with the Chinese counterpart, Chang Wanquan, second left, in Brunei on Wednesday. (Photo by Wassana Nanuam)
Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan informed Defence MInister Sukumpol Suwanatat on Wednesday of Beijing’s desire to expand military ties between the two countries.
Marines from the two countries have held a ‘’Blue Strike’’ joint exercise for two years, with Thailand and China alternately hosting the programme which is aim at counter terrorism. Their military forces began cooperation first in joint drills of their special forces under codename ‘’Strike’’.
ACM Sukumpol said China hoped to expand these ties to cover all aspects of the armed forces, and Thailand had agreed to this.
The Thai and Chinese ministers met in Bandar Seri Begawan on the sidelines of the defence ministers meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and its allies.
A missing link is a drill between their air forces.
A Defence Ministry source said the problem is the air forces of the two countriesuse different defence systems. Thailand relies largely on US systems.
"China hopes to expand its exercises with Thailand to be at the same level as Cobra Gold,” the source said.
About the author
- Writer: Wassana Nanuam