Chinese and German army medics start joint UN operation in Bavaria | News | DW | 05.07.2019
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Chinese and German army medics start joint UN operation in Bavaria

Medics from the two countries' militaries are undertaking "Combined Aid 2019," to respond to a staged cholera outbreak in Bavaria. The exercise is the first of its kind for Chinese medics in Europe.

Chinese army medics and German Bundeswehr soldiers began a practice UN mission this week in southern Germany. The aim is to prepare the teams to respond to large-scale outbreaks of disease.

Called "Combined Aid 2019," the joint operation will see groups tackle a staged cholera outbreak in multiple refugee camps. The drill includes 92 Chinese medics, 129 German soldiers and 120 support officers. It began on Wednesday and continues until July 17.

"Combined Aid is extremely relevant for civilian disease prevention, as protecting the population from epidemics and pandemics is a global task," the Bundeswehr said in a statement.

The teams will learn to treat mass casualties in a disease-outbreak situation. China's military described it as "the first time for China to dispatch a complete unit of medical service forces with real combat equipment to conduct a joint exercise in Europe."

The first joint German-Chinese operation was held in 2016 when teams trained to respond to a fictional earthquake in China.

"The Chinese Liberation Army's mobile equipment can be assembled in an impressively short amount of time," the German military said. "In a few minutes the modern Chinese tents are up and their medical equipment is ready just as quickly."

Read more: In Duisburg, China expands trade influence in Germany

The forces will speak English to each other or use translators, the Bundeswehr said.

The Chinese army is also taking part in an operation with the French military.

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