BEIJING (Agencies): China’s Ministry of National Defense announced on Monday that the Chinese air force will conduct its first-ever joint exercise with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) air force. The upcoming joint air force exercise, named China-UAE Falcon Shield-2023, is scheduled to take place in August in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The exercise is expected to significantly enhance military cooperation between the two nations following the signing of a warplane deal earlier this year.
In accordance with the annual schedule and consensus reached between China and the UAE, the joint air force drill aims to deepen practical exchange and cooperation, fostering greater understanding and mutual trust between the two countries’ armed forces.
Chinese Defense Ministry officials stated that this milestone marks a positive step in advancing military exchanges and cooperation with countries in the Middle East. The joint exercise comes as a natural development following the UAE’s procurement of Chinese military aircraft earlier this year, which reflects the deepening relationship between their respective military forces.
The UAE had previously purchased the domestically developed L15 advanced trainer jet from China, solidifying the collaboration between the two countries. The L15 is a new-generation light attack and combat trainer jet, capable of training pilots for fourth- and fifth-generation fighter jets, as well as conducting air-to-air combat and land attack missions. This military aircraft deal has paved the way for closer cooperation in the defense sector.
Military analysts anticipate that as China-UAE military ties continue to strengthen, there may be more joint exercises and potential arms deals in the future. Both countries’ air forces are expected to engage in reciprocal visits, further enhancing their military cooperation and understanding.
Chinese military aviation expert Fu Qianshao emphasized that China’s enhanced cooperation with countries in the Middle East, including the UAE, is not aimed at filling any perceived power vacuum left by other nations. Instead, it focuses on supporting independent development and safeguarding regional peace and stability in the Middle East.
The joint air force exercise signifies a significant milestone in the deepening strategic partnership between China and the UAE, paving the way for greater collaboration in the defense sector and fostering enduring bonds of mutual trust between their respective armed forces.