BEIJING, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- The Chinese government invited foreign military personnel to observe military drills to see "the real Chinese army" in action, a defense ministry official said.
The official Xinhua News Agency reported Wednesday foreign military personnel from 89 countries were on hand to observe a two-day military drill in Henan province in central China.
"Conducting such a drill can help foreign countries to know the real Chinese army and is conducive to deepening friendship and boosting mutual understanding," said Zhao Bao, an official from the Ministry of National Defense.
Xinhua reports Chinese soldiers practiced night-time combat drills and coordination between air and ground operational forces during the two-day exercise, which concluded Wednesday.
The Japanese military started its own war games operations last week. Both sides have been at odds over claims to islands in the South China Sea.
China defends its policies in the area and officials said recent training missions for manned and unmanned aircraft were conducted according to international law. Japan said recently it would shoot down any aircraft that strayed into its territorial airspace.