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Chinese military conducts training drill near Myanmar border

Associated Press logo Associated Press 29/03/2017

BEIJING — China has conducted military exercises near its border with Myanmar, where fighting between the Myanmar army and ethnic rebels has flared in recent months.

The annual training exercise on Tuesday involved the Chinese army and air force and tested troops' rapid response and joint strike capabilities, the defense ministry said in a statement.

China's government said earlier this month that more than 20,000 people from Myanmar have fled into China amid renewed fighting. At least 30 people were killed this month in a single day in a Myanmar town in a Chinese-speaking region near the border.

China has called for a cease-fire and says authorities in the border area have offered shelter and assistance to the refugees.

Col. Fang Xin of the Joint Staff Department of Southern Theater Command was quoted as saying the exercises demonstrated the determination of the People's Liberation Army to defend national security and protect lives and property along the border.

The ministry said China informed Myanmar in advance of the drills.

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