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Finland offers China military training for crisis management forces
During his official visit to China, Finland’s Chief of Defence, Admiral Juhani Kaskeala said in Shanghai on Thursday that it would be easier for the Chinese to learn about peacekeeping in Finland than in a NATO member state.
All of the standards for crisis management activities around the world are based on NATO systems and operational models.
Chinese personnel could take part in Finnish courses for military observers. Chinese representatives have already visited courses held in Finland for officers from over 50 different countries.
During his five-day visit, Kaskeala met with the Chief of Staff of the National Liberation Army, General Liang Guangli, as well as Minister of Defence Cao Gangchuan.
Kaskeala and his entourage were shown units of China’s land and air forces in Beijing, and naval forces in Shanghai.
"The modernisation of the armed forces is in full swing, but much remains to be done. Development into armed forces of the information society is just beginning", Kaskeala observed.
China has recently been increasing its participation in international operations. It is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and has taken part in peacekeeping operations since 1989. The greatest number of Chinese peacekeepers operate in Africa.
Kaskeala believes that China’s interest in crisis management activities has been boosted by the increased focus on the Middle East and Central Asia, which are close to China’s sphere of security, and contain important energy sources.
China hopes to be a counterforce to the increased presence of the United States in Central Asia. China has also increased its cooperation with the EU. The country’s increased activism is reflected in greater contacts around the world.
Already a second Chinese officer is taking a Finnish-language course for staff officers, which began in Finland last autumn.
Admiral Kaskeala attributed the interest shown by China to the quality of Finland’s information society, and its utilisation in the Defence Forces.
The advantages of the Finnish Defence forces and Finnish industry include the possibility to offer highly-developed information and communications systems to international crisis management operations.