Illustrative image (Source: globaltimes.cn)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – China, Malaysia and Thailand started their first joint military exercise in the Malaysian resort town of Port Dickson on October 24.

The exercise Aman Youyi 2018, which will last until the end of October 29, is an extension of the annual joint drill between China and Malaysia that began in 2014.

Speaking at the opening ceremony at a military base in Port Dickson, Malaysian Armed Forces Joint Force Commander Vice Admiral Syed Zahiruddin Putra said that the exercise will help plan and conduct future drills to better the capacity of the three countries’ defence forces in other operations such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operation, maritime security and counterterrorism.

The exercise consists of a land exercise and a maritime exercise, with the latter involving Malaysia and China.

China has sent 693 personnel, a destroyer and a frigate for the exercise; and Malaysia, 592 personnel with two frigates and two helicopters. For its part, Thailand has sent 54 personnel but no military asset.

The exercise comes as China has been engaged in the first joint naval exercise with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) off Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, which is taking place from October 22-28.-VNA