Video — Chinese and U.S. Troops Train Together on the West Coast
Disaster relief exercise brought PLA troops to the continental United States
There’s a paradox when it comes to how the American and Chinese militaries interact. In the South China Sea, U.S. warships put on a show of force near Chinese artificial islands — sprawling outposts which give Beijing the ability to project power near several nations with reason to fear it.
That’s in the context of an unprecedented Chinese military build-up which includes new fighters, missiles and modern submarines augmented with radars and sensors that can now threaten American aircraft carriers.
At the same time, the Chinese and American militaries are cooperating more closely than ever. But perhaps because of those above tensions, the cooperation is very … relative. For example, the exercises with China do not include joint combat exercises.
But the two militaries are working together, which is good news. (We can’t say the same about Russia.) The latest example occurred in November, as Chinese and American medics worked alongside each other at Joint Base Lewis-McChord for a disaster relief exercise.
It was the first time People’s Liberation Army troops trained on continental American soil. Previous exercises involving American and Chinese troops training together have occurred in China and Hawaii. Baby steps.
“I think this a great example of the United States and China working together for a common cause, a good cause,” said Cpt. Mike Sim, a U.S. Coast Guard officer stationed at the American embassy in Beijing. “We have more in common than we think.”