Troops from China’s only overseas base have staged their first live-fire drills in what military analysts said was a major show of combat readiness, the South China Morning Post reports. The exercises in Djibouti on Friday involved dozens of officers and took place at the country’s national gendarmerie training range, the People’s Liberation Army Navy said in an online report. Troops arrived at the base – China’s first overseas garrison – less than two months ago and the drill was meant to test the personnel’s capacity to handle a range of weapons and tasks in extreme heat, humidity and salinity, the report said. Footage aired by state-run CCTV showed PLA marine corps using various weapons – from pistols to automatic rifles, sniper rifles and machine guns – to fire at targets. Beijing-based military expert Li Jie said the troops had to be on combat alert at all times because of the region’s complex political conditions and Djibouti’s geographic importance.
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