This is somewhat unusual, but I guess with China getting in more on UN missions (and running a Role 2 hospital in Gao, Mali where the German MINUSMA contingent is based, though the latter usually MEDEVACs anybody of theirs straight home) it makes sense.
China, Germany kick off joint medical military exercise
( Source: China Military ) 2016-October-20 17:31
CHONGQING, October 20 (ChinaMil) -- The China-Germany joint medical military exercise, code-named "Combined Aid-2016", kicked off at a training base of the PLA Third Military Medical University in Chongqing, China, on the morning of October 20, 2016.
It is Chinas first joint medical military exercise with European militaries and the first such exercise held in China between Chinese military medical troops and foreign militaries.
The joint exercise takes the humanitarian medical rescue in earthquake disasters as its subject. Medical troops from China and Germany will establish a joint commanding center to organize the medical rescue operations in the designated area of the quake-hit country.
The Chinese participating troops are mostly from the PLA Third Military Medical University while the German troops of this exercise are mainly from the Rapid Medical Response Regiment of the Bundeswehr Medical Service.
In the next few days, the two sides will organize a series of activities including integrated training, desktop deduction, actual-troop exercise, exercise observation, academic exchange, and evaluation and summary.
The focus of the exercise is on earthquake first aid, mass treatment, medical airlift, epidemic prevention and elimination, joint command, self-protection and other subjects in order to improve emergency medical rescue and collaboration capabilities between China and Germany.
The return visit of the Chinese side in Germany is currently going down. It's probably telling of the changes in international politics during the last three years, and particularly today's perception of China's global role, both domestically and in the West, what importance either seem to connect with a rather small exercise of a medical nature. Parts of both takes below seem rather exaggerated to me.
Chinese troops in first joint medical drill with major Nato power in Europe
Published: 10:30pm, 9 Jul, 2019
The Peoples Liberation Army is staging its first joint medical exercise with a major Nato power in Europe, as China steps up efforts to strengthen ties with European countries.
About 100 PLA medics are taking part in the two-week Combined Aid 2019 exercise at a base in Feldkirchen, southern Germany, alongside 120 medics and 120 support personnel from the German military, the Bundeswehr, Chinas defence ministry said on its Weibo account.
In addition to the medics, the PLA also sent a full array of field equipment including armoured ambulances to Germany for the drill, which began on Wednesday last week and finishes on July 17. It is the first time the PLA has shipped armoured vehicles to Europe.
Retired PLA colonel Yue Gang said that while the exercise may not have much significance in terms of combat ability, it was important for the international efforts of Chinas military.
Given that Nato has been suspicious and wary of Chinas military development, and this is a member of Nato, this breakthrough underscores the considerable trust-building taking place between Germany and China, and it may even set an example for others to follow, Yue said.
The PLA in the future will need to go abroad to protect Chinas overseas interests in countries along the Belt and Road Initiative, and if there could be some basic mutual trust and understanding with Nato forces, the risk of potential conflict could be greatly mitigated, he said, referring to Beijings vast scheme to build ports, roads and railways across Asian, African and European countries.
The Bundeswehr said the joint exercise was unique in the military cooperation of both states and creates the preconditions for being able to interact in medical terms in a combined UN scenario.
Chinese defence ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang said earlier that the military relationship between China and Germany had been going well, with solid progress in areas such as joint exercises.
Wang Yiwei, an expert in European studies at Renmin University of China, said he was not surprised Germany had taken the lead among members of Nato the transatlantic security alliance to hold a joint drill with China, noting that Berlin had been wary of Washingtons America first policy.
As the leader of the EU, Germany has said that Europe should take charge of its own security, Wang said. It is also a brand new world security situation now, as both China and Europe would want to hedge their risks in dealing with the US.
In a first, Chinese military deploys for medical drill with German forces in Europe
By JOHN VANDIVER | STARS AND STRIPES
Published: July 10, 2019
STUTTGART, Germany The Chinese army for the first time has deployed armored medical vehicles and personnel to Europe to conduct training with the German military, marking a groundbreaking foray into NATO territory.
The exercise, dubbed Combined Aid 2019 and involving about 100 Chinese Peoples Liberation Army medics, is a joint drill in the Bavarian town of Feldkirchen focused on responding to a simulated cholera outbreak.
The exercise takes place at a time of growing strains between the German government and the Trump administration over a range of issues, including Berlin's laggard defense spending and Germany's support for a natural gas pipeline from Russia.
Beijing is developing a global network of ports, railways and roads to advance its trade interests, including in Europe, as part of its Belt and Road campaign.
However, recent moves by China on NATOs turf have attracted U.S. scrutiny. At U.S. European Command headquarters in Stuttgart, officials have expressed concern about China purchasing stakes in numerous European ports, as well as Chinas polar silk road Arctic ambitions.
Jorge Benitez, a NATO expert with the Atlantic Council in Washington, said Germanys hosting of the Chinese military and the way it is playing in China gives the impression that NATO allies are disagreeing with the U.S. and seeking better relations with China.
The presence of the Chinese military in Germany for this exercise creates very bad optics for Germany, NATO and the U.S. and is a cheap propaganda victory for China, Benitez said.
German defense officials have played down such concerns, saying the exercise is about protecting civilians from disease and epidemics.
Chinas military brought new medical equipment for the drills, including a new generation field tent hospital system, tracked and wheeled armored ambulances and other gear to demonstrate the new developments and achievements of field ambulance technology vehicle made by the Chinese army, the defense ministry statement said.
The exercise, while small and not focused on combat, comes as Washington attempts to pressure its allies in Europe to take a tougher stance on China.
In recent months, it has intensified pressure on NATO members to avoid Chinas Huawei 5G telecom infrastructure, which American officials say poses a threat and would force Washington to cease certain types of information sharing.
But the U.S. also is trying to unite allies at a time when Berlin and Washington have been at odds on a range of issues, including German defense spending levels and trade disagreements. On Monday, a German government spokesman also rejected a request by the U.S. that Berlin send ground troops to Syria to provide relief for American forces that are part of the anti-ISIS coalition.