KATHMANDU, April 16: The first-ever joint military training between Nepal Army (NA) and People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China kicked off at the Special Forces Brigade, Maharajgunj in Kathmandu on Sunday.
NA Major General Binod Kumar Shrestha, who is the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) of NA, inaugurated the 10-day Nepal-China Special Forces Joint Military Training named as Sagarmatha Friendship-2017, according to a press statement issued by the Public Relations Directorate of the NA. The first-of-its-kind training between the two countries will focus on the tactics of counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism.
In his inaugural address, Major General Shrestha said that the aim of this exercise is to promote military relations and enhance interoperability between Nepalese and Chinese special forces at functional level by placing emphasis on counter-terrorism tactics, techniques and procedures.
Shrestha expressed confidence that the joint training will prove to be a great platform to learn and share each other's knowledge and experiences. “Chinese army is widely acknowledged for its professionalism, dedication and combat experience while Nepalese Army has gained many valuable lessons during its successful counter-insurgency campaign in the recent past and has a wealth of experience worth sharing,” the statement quoted him as saying.
Speaking on behalf of the PLA, Colonel Yang Shumeng said the cooperation between PLA and NA in dealing with the threat of terrorism serves the common interest of both the countries. He also expressed confidence that the joint training will enhance mutual trust and confidence between the two armies and promote bilateral cooperation.
A 22-member delegation of the Chinese PLA special force led by Yang had arrived in Kathmandu on Saturday to take part in the joint training.
Army Spokesperson Brigadier General Jhankar Bahadur Kadayat told Republica that a small contingent of NA's special force will be representing Nepal in the military exercise.
Generals of NA, defense attaché of China, officers of NA, instructors and participants from both the countries were among those present during the opening ceremony.
Although the NA has been holding joint military exercises with other countries including India and the United States, this is the first joint military training with the People's Liberation Army of China. NA has maintained that the joint training is being exercised in line with Nepal's foreign and security policy to hold training, seminars, and military exercises on issues of common interests with the armies of various friendly countries.