The Chinese People’s Liberation Army and Turkish armed forces have begun a week-long joint military training exercise in Turkey.

Ground forces from both countries will participate in training, which includes basic assault skills in hilly terrain and practising military tactics.

The training will focus on enhancing mutual understanding and trust, strengthening communication and cooperation between the two armies, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

Reports have emerged from China that the exercise is also aimed at developing drills to counter Uygur separatists in China’s Xinjinag region, a move that is likely to anger many Turkish citizens that support the seperatist cause.