PLA’s Chief of the General Staff General Chen Bingde meets Venezuelan Defense Minister; South African Secretary of Defense visits China to attend the fourth meeting of China-South Africa defense committee; China and Peru will jointly conduct “Peace Angel
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  • The visiting Chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) General Chen Bingde met with Venezuelan Defense Minister Carlos Jose Mata Figueroa in Caracas, Venezuela on November 15. The two military leaders exchanged views on enhancing cooperation between the two militaries. In fact, Mata described General Chen Bingde’s visit as “a major event in Venezuelan-Chinese military relations.” He was optimistic that the visit would further deepen bilateral military cooperation in various fields and promote the development of their friendly ties.1 However, on home front, South African Secretary of Defense Mpumi Mpofu visited China last week to attend the fourth meeting of China-South Africa defense committee. During the visit, he met with the Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie on November 19. The two leaders pledged to enhance military ties between the two nations.2

    While under the agreement concluded by the defense departments of China and Peru, the Health Department of the General Logistics Department (GLD) of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) sent a medical team for Peru on November 17 to participate in the “Peace Angel 2010” which is a Sino-Peru humanitarian medical rescue joint operation. The “Peace Angel 2010” joint operation consists of exchanges, training, rescue exercise and medical service.3 Meanwhile, the PLA and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) started their second joint counter-terrorism training exercise on November 19. The 9-day long training exercise – codenamed as COOPERATION 2010, was supposed to focus on counter- terrorism security operations for major international events. Around 60 personnel from the SAF and 86 personnel from the PLA would participate in seminars, planning exercises and response drills.4 On the other hand, the Sino-Romanian joint military exercise – code-named “Friendship Action 2010” – was concluded on November 13. It was a 9-day-long exercise in which the mountain troops of both the nations participated.5

    Reports noted that the work conference on foreign publicity of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was organized in Beijing on November 15. Li Jinai, member of the CMC and Director of the General Political Department (GPD) of the PLA, attended and addressed the conference. On this occasion, he reiterated, “to ensure the scientific development of national defense and army building and the effective fulfillment of the historical mission of the PLA in the new century and the new period require not only the military strength as the foundation, but also the opinion force as the support. Thus, it is necessary to actively win understanding and support of the international community and build a favorable external environment.”6

    The “Zhoushan” missile frigate, the “Xuzhou” missile frigate and the “Qiandaohu” supply ship of the 7th Chinese naval escort taskforce smoothly has reached the Gulf of Aden on November 17, and joined the “Weishanhu” comprehensive supply ship of the 6th Chinese naval escort taskforce in advance.7 Meanwhile, the China Maritime Search and Rescue Center (CMSRC) informed on November 19 that a Chinese warship had proceeded to help a Chinese ship attacked by pirates in the northern Indian Ocean. It also informed that twenty-six Chinese crew aboard the Lecong, belonging to COSCO Shipping Co., Ltd., had fought off the pirates.8

    Reports noted that air-to-ground penetration and assault examination conducted by the aviation troops of the Air Force of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was concluded at a training range in north China on November 8. This year’s year-end examination has focused on tactics-oriented mode unlike last years when it focused on skill-oriented mode.9

    The PLA Air Force (PLAAF) has hosted this year’s China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition. It was inaugurated in Zhuhai of south China’s Guangdong Province on November 16. The present, 8th exhibition is the first one which has been hosted by the PLAAF.10

    In other developments, a 100-member strong contingent of the Chinese PLA left for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for an eight-month UN peace-keeping operation on November 19. The contingent formed the first batch of China's 12th peace-keeping team to DRC since 2003. A second batch of 118 soldiers who are scheduled to depart on November 28 will join them. The 12th team consists of military engineers and medical staff.11