The China-Cambodia joint humanitarian exercise code-named “Peace Angel-2023” kicked off on Saturday morning with an opening ceremony held in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh.
Senior Colonel Hao Linyuan, leader of the Chinese guidance and coordination group for the exercise, and General Eth Sarath, deputy commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and chief of joint staff, delivered speeches at the event.
Hao said this joint exercise is an important bilateral cooperation created by the two militaries.
“It is not only a pragmatic measure to implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of China and Cambodia, but also an exchange and mutual learning of medical services between the Chinese and Cambodian militaries,” he said.
Sarath noted in his speech that this year marks the 65th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between China and Cambodia and the Year of China-Cambodia Friendship.
“This joint exercise reflects the unbreakable traditional friendship between China and Cambodia,” he said.
He added that all participating troops passed the drill activities, learning from each other’s experiences and improving professional skills will comprehensively promote the joint rescue technical capabilities of the Cambodian Royal Army in multinational operations, and will be able to respond to emergency disaster medical rescue missions at any time.
Officers and soldiers from China and Cambodia, military attachés from many countries to Cambodia, and observers from many Southeast Asian countries also attended the opening ceremony.
At the ceremony, Major General Pen Sokrit Vityea, head of the Cambodian working group for the exercise, said the exercise jointly organized by the Chinese and Cambodian militaries was an important part of China and Cambodia’s humanitarian rescue and joint medical treatment.
It is also a vivid practice of military and medical exchanges and cooperation between Cambodia and China, he added.
Colonel Zhang Yi, head of the Chinese medical team, said the “Peace Angel-2023” medical team came for the traditional friendship between China and Cambodia, the development of the medical services of the two militaries and the bright prospects for the future.
“The Chinese medical team will work closely with the Cambodian officers and soldiers to share opportunities and build a win-win future, opening up a broader new world for cooperation between the two militaries,” he said.
Li Zhenbiao, the chief director from the Chinese side of the exercise, said this joint exercise closely followed the actual situation of disaster medical rescue, highlighted the jointness of the two militaries, and set up multiple subjects such as joint command, joint rescue, joint medical evacuation of the wounded and sick, and joint prevention and control of communicable diseases.
Both sides mobilized more than 700 troops and used more than 1,000 sets of equipment including Y-20 transport aircraft, Y-9 medical ambulance aircraft, Mi-17 helicopters, disinfection drones, negative pressure ambulances, health and epidemic prevention vehicles, and tent hospitals, he said.
The evacuation of wounded and sick patients is carried out using air and ground relay methods, effectively improving the joint disaster medical rescue capabilities of the Chinese and Cambodian militaries, he added.
In the next few days, participating teams from both sides will also organize professional training, mixed group collaborative exercises, full-process joint training, and formal exercises.
(Cover: The “Peace Angel-2023” medical team of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army arrives in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, September 14, 2023. /Xinhua)