Live-fire drill in Djibouti – China’s latest political and current affairs news

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A summary of the top news in Chinese politics and current affairs for September 25, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina newsletter, a convenient package of China’s business, political, and cultural news delivered to your inbox for free. Subscribe here.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying speaks during a briefing at the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing, China, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016. North Korea’s claim to have conducted its first hydrogen bomb test acts is seen by key ally China as yet another act of defiance, raising the likelihood that Beijing will endorse new United Nations sanctions and possibly enforce unilateral trade restrictions. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Troops from China’s People’s Liberation Army were in June for the first time deployed at the country’s only overseas military base in Djibouti, the tiny African country bordering Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea, and just on the opposite side of the Red Sea from Yemen.

Last week, troops completed China’s first live-fire drill organized at an overseas base, with the aim of training the troops and testing equipment in high temperature and high humidity environments, according to Sina (in Chinese). The South China Morning Post quotes a Beijing-based military commentator who says that “the high-profile drills were a message to local militants ‘not to harass’ the PLA troops.”