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Diplomatic Outreach: Military of China Is Increasing Its Military Exercises

Diplomatic Outreach: Military of China Is Increasing Its Military Exercises|China Power Project-CSIS

The Military of China has more than doubled its number of exercises conducted with other countries. This move of the Military of China is aimed at enhancing military diplomacy and making it a more prominent aspect of China’s foreign policy efforts.

Diplomatic Outreach: Military of China Is Increasing Its Military Exercises|Yahoo News

China and Russia have been conducting more military exercises together; these exercises have been expanding in terms of both numbers and scope.

Over the past ten years, the military of China, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has increased its diplomatic efforts as part of President Xi Jinping’s goals to modernize the military of China and gain international respect.

The military of China has been engaging with foreign counterparts to present itself as a peacekeeping force. However, the military of China has also increased its capability to deploy troops far beyond its borders. This has raised concerns among the US and Western countries, who believe China aims to change the international order in a way that goes against liberal democratic values.

In 2022, the docking of the tracking ship Yuan Wang 5, of the military of China in Sri Lanka led to strong protests from India. While the first foreign base of the military of China in Djibouti, located in the Horn of Africa, also caused concern. Additionally, fears have emerged that China’s involvement in building the Ream naval base in Cambodia could allow the Chinese navy to establish a presence there, despite China repeatedly denying such intentions.

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Randall Schriver, a commissioner of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, stated in a hearing that the military of China is involved in various forms of military diplomacy.

Under the guidance of the Communist Party and Central Military Commission, the military of China is increasing its engagement in bilateral and multilateral exercises, establishing foreign bases and access opportunities, conducting operational military activities with international partners, and actively promoting foreign military sales.

Amidst the pandemic, Russia and Pakistan have remained as China’s top military partners. These relationships have been growing stronger. However, when compared to other countries that China aims to build military cooperation with, China still has a long way to catch up in terms of the quality and depth of joint military exercises, experts believes.

Additionally, the military of China has been engaging less frequently with the United States which happens to be its primary geopolitical rival.

China’s drills with its ASEAN neighbors are smaller and less extensive compared to those of the US. For example, in the 2023 Cobra Gold exercises in Thailand, China only participated in the search and rescue portion with 25 troops, while the US sent over 6,000 troops, marking their largest contingent in ten years. This difference in engagement might be due to America’s longstanding collaborations with the nations in the Asia-Pacific region.

According to South China Morning Post, China has recently registered 8,000 troops, indicating its increased involvement in United Nations peacekeeping missions. In addition, China plans to use these missions as opportunities to provide real-life training for the military of China.

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READ MORE| China’s increase in military exercises helps aid diplomacy efforts

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