Why S’pore not invited to military exercise?

September 28, 2004
Singapore Democrats

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28 September 2004

Dear Dr. Chee,

This is rather strange indeed, even Indonesia and Malaysia gets invited, why not S’pore (see news report below)?

It says The exercise reflects China’s diplomatic policy of ‘treating neighbors as friends and partners,’ and the new security concept of peaceful coexistence, mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation, according to military sources.

What does this indicate about China’s view on S’pore?

Did the ST report this incident? Thats the problem when the Government controls the media through SPH and Media Corporation of S’pore – they only report what they want us to know.

Appreciate if you could publish this article on your website and ask PAP how did this happen. Thanks.

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200409/25/eng20040925_158266.html

Some 60 foreign military observers invited to “Iron Fist-2004” military exercise

Some 60 military leaders and observers from 16 countries observed a military exercise launched by the Chinese armed forces in central China Saturday morning.

The exercise, code-named “Iron Fist-2004” and with live ammunition, was carried out by a reinforced mechanized infantry division in the Queshan Training Base of the Jinan Military Area Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Henan Province.

The foreign military leaders and observers are from Brunei, the Philippines, Tajikistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. The ranking officers include commander of the Brunei armed forces, chiefs of the general staff of the Philippines and Tajikistan, and the chief of staff of the Bangladesh army.

It is the first time the PLA invited so many foreign military officers in so high rankings to observe a Chinese military exercise. It is also the largest-scale military exercise open to foreign observers.

The exercise reflects China’s diplomatic policy of “treating neighbors as friends and partners,” and the new security concept of peaceful coexistence, mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation, according to military sources.

It not only embodies the Chinese military’s sincere hope to develop friendly cooperative relations with the military of neighboring countries, but also creates a chance for Chinese and foreign officers to learn from each other, the sources said.

The exercise, which involves some PLA 10,000 officers and soldiers, is of positive significance to promoting regional security cooperation.

Source: Xinhua

CHRISTOPHER