The Chinese military has arrived in Thailand and will participate in the 2020 Cobra Gold multilateral joint military drills, the largest joint military exercise in Southeast Asia which will be led by Thailand and the US, starting Tuesday. By participating in the 2020 Cobra Gold, China is eagerly participating in defense cooperation with neighboring regions, which will enhance communication with Southeast Asian countries providing Chinese solutions and power in humanitarian relief operations. An elite team of 25 soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) 75th Group Army arrived in Thailand on Sunday via a transport aircraft of the PLA Air Force, the PLA Daily reported on Monday.
The annual Cobra Gold series joint drills has become the largest joint military exercise in Southeast Asia, and this year’s edition will run from Tuesday to March 6 in Thailand. Jointly hosted by Thailand and the US, the drills will feature high-level forums, amphibious landing exercises, humanitarian construction and disaster relief drills. The Chinese team will participate in desktop maneuvers, actual combat exercises, humanitarian construction and high-level forums. China has been sending observers to the annual exercises since 2002 and participating in the drills since 2014.
More than 8,900 soldiers and officers from 29 countries will join the drills. The US is expected to send 5,500 personnel and 64 fighter jets including the F-35 stealth fighter jet for the first time, as well as an amphibious assault ship and an amphibious landing dock, foreign media reports said. Cobra Gold is an Asia-Pacific military exercise held in Thailand every year. It is the largest Asia-Pacific military exercise held each year, and is among the largest multinational military exercises in which the United States participates.