PAYA INDAH, Malaysia, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese and Malaysian armed forces began a joint exercise on Tuesday in Paya Indah, a wetlands park in the state of Selangor, as the two countries aim to forge closer military ties and safety and security cooperation.
"Aman Youyi 2016," or "Peace Friendship 2016," is a joint exercise on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, involving 410 participants from the Malaysian Armed Forces and 195 from the Chinese People's Liberation Army. Observers from the Royal Thai Armed Forces will also witness the exercise.
Launching the opening ceremony of the exercise, Fang Fenghui, a member of China's Central Military Commission (CMC) and chief of the Joint Staff Department under the CMC, expressed the hope that the two sides can take this opportunity to make continuous joint efforts in combating terrorism and addressing maritime threats.
"We've always believed that nothing is more important than the all-round growth of the friendly relations between the two countries and the two militaries as well as jointly safeguarding peace and stability in the region including the South China Sea," said Fang.
He also reiterated China's stance on the South China Sea and pointed out that China always opposes outside interference in the South China Sea issue.
Zulkifeli Bin Mohd Zin, chief of the Malaysian defense force, said multinational initiatives such as "Aman Youyi" would afford greater synchronization and stronger awareness in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.
After the opening ceremony, Chinese special forces performed close quarters combat skills while commanding officers from the two sides conducted a Table Top Exercise.
China and Malaysia have seen closer military ties in recent years. It is the third time that China and Malaysia have conducted such joint exercises. Last month, a Chinese naval fleet paid a friendly visit to the Malaysian port of Klang.