For the first time ever, China has sent People’s Liberation Army troops to Exercise Khaan Quest, a multinational ground forces peacekeeping drill designed to boost military-to-military interoperability, hosted by Mongolia. The exercise is cosponsored with the United States Pacific Command (PACOM). Khaan Quest was first established in 2003.
China’s participation in Khaan Quest 2015 is notably not being heavily publicized in the Chinese press. Xinhua ran a brief article noting that this was China’s first time sending troops to the exercise, and many other press outlets have been largely silent on the matter. Other major multinational exercises, including the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC), have drawn considerably more attention from the Chinese press.
Around 300 U.S. personnel, from the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, will participate in the exercise, along with 600 Mongolian Armed Forces troops. U.S. and Mongolian troops will comprise the majority of the roughly 1,200 military personnel from 25 countries scheduled to participate or observe this year’s exercise. The complete list of participants, per U.S. PACOM, includes “Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, China, Czech, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, ROK, Singapore, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, UK, and Vietnam.”