At the opening ceremony (Source: xinhua.net)

Hanoi (VNA) - Thailand and China’s navies began a joint military exercise codenamed Blue Strike 2016 in Thailand on May 21.

Around 500 soldiers from each side will join the drill, including disaster relief, armed operations at sea and on land, and top secret missions.

The exercise is expected to last through June 9.

Addressing the exercise’s opening at Sattahip Naval Base, Chon Buri province, Royal Thai Navy Fleet Commander Naris Prathumsuwan said the drill aims to boost the long-standing relationship between Thailand and China and increase cooperation between the two navies.

Meanwhile, Wang Hai, deputy commander of Chinese Navy, said the drill will focus on counter-terrorism and maintaining peace in the region and the world.

The military drill is the third of its kind, following Blue Strike 2010 and Blue Strike 2012.-VNA