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PLA sends medical aid to neighbors

By ZHAO LEI | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-04-25 15:46

A PLA Y-20 transport aircraft carrying medical experts and supplies sits on the tarmac at a Chinese airport before its departure to Pakistan on Friday. Two other teams were also sent to Myanmar and Laos. [Photo/China's Defense Ministry]

The People's Liberation Army on Friday sent its aircraft to transport medical supplies and three teams of experts to Pakistan, Myanmar and Laos to help the neighboring countries in their fight against the novel coronavirus outbreak, according to the Ministry of National Defense of China.

The ministry said in a statement published on its website that the move was in response to requests for help from the militaries of the three countries, adding that the supplies included test kits and protective suits. The supplies were donated by the Defense Ministry.

The operation was approved by the Central Military Commission.

It noted that the Chinese military will continue offering assistance to foreign armed forces to help them curb the spread of the highly contagious disease.

A picture released by the ministry shows at least one Y-20 strategic transport plane being used in the operation, marking the first overseas mission of the domestically developed aircraft.

One of the world's largest strategic heavy-lift jets, the Y-20 began to be delivered to the PLA Air Force in July 2016, becoming a pillar of the Air Force's strategic transport capability. It has a maximum takeoff weight of around 200 metric tons, according to the Air Force.

The three teams arrived in Islamabad in Pakistan, Vientiane in Laos, and Yangon in Myanmar, on Friday afternoon, Xinhua reported.

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