Vietnam and China held a joint drill along their shared border this week, Chinese media reports said Friday.
The border guard command of Vietnam’s northern Ha Giang province and border police detachment in China’s southwest Yunnan Province’s Wenshan have held a “joint anti-terror exercise,” Xinhua reported.
The drill, named Thien Thanh 2016 (Tianqiang 2016), took place Thursday at Thanh Thuy International Border Gate in Ha Giang province that borders the two nations around 220 kilometers north of the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, Xinhua said quoting the local Quan Doi Nhan Dan (People’s Army) newspaper in Vietnam.
Ha Giang, a province in Vietnam’s northeast, contains Vietnam’s northernmost point and shares a 270 kilometer-long border with China’s Yunnan province. In addition to the border gate of Than Thuy, there are several other smaller gates as well.
The exercise was reportedly attended by representatives from Vietnam’s Ministry of Defense, the Border Guard Command, and Ha Giang People’s Committee.
“The drill showed mutual trust between the two neighbors’ armed forces and laid foundation for relevant authorities to build legal framework on law enforcement cooperation between border forces in response to emergency situation and coordination in dealing with cross-border cases,” it quoted the newspaper as saying.
No further details were provided on the exercise itself, including the number of personnel involved or the activities that were carried out between China and Vietnam. But border training exercises between the two countries are by no means new. In March, the two countries carried out training drills in both Lang Son and Guangxi provinces as part of the third Vietnam-China Border Defense Friendship Exchange Program.
Beyond the exercise itself, Ha Giang, one of the poorest provinces in Vietnam with a population of less than a million people, has been part of Chinese and Vietnamese efforts to boost trade and investment over the years.