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China, Russia begin military exercises

Five-day drill to boost ability to fight terrorism, tackle challenges

— Photo: Xinhua

Solid partnership: Russian special forces launch an attack on “terrorists” in cooperation with Chinese infantry armoured vehicles during a training of Sino-Russian “Peace Mission-2009” Jilin Province on Tuesday.

KHABAROVSK (Russia): Chinese and Russian troops on Wednesday began a five-day joint military drill aimed at boosting their ability to fight terrorism.

Chen Bingde, chief of the General Staff of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China, and Nikolai Makarov, chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, announced the beginning of the exercises, dubbed “Peace Mission-2009,” in Russia’s far eastern city of Khabarovsk.

The military exercise involves about 2,600 army and air force personnel with special forces from both sides, and more than 40 fighter aircraft and helicopter gunships as well as other special reconnaissance equipment for fighting terrorists. It is being held in Khabarovsk and the PLA’s Taonan tactical training base, which borders Russia’s Far Eastern region to the north.

Under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the exercise falls on the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Russia. The two military leaders discussed international and regional security, deepening pragmatic cooperation between defence establishments.

In recent years, ties between the two armies have shown development marked by frequent exchanges of high-level visits, and effective communications at various levels. Leaders of the two countries have attached great importance to the joint exercises, which also are being closely followed by the international community, said General Chen.

China thinks the exercises will be conducive to furthering its strategic cooperative partnership with Russia, he said. The exercises also will enhance mutual confidence in defence security .

In addition, he said, the exercises also would help raise the cooperation level of the two armies in military training, increase their capacity for jointly tackling new threats and have a far-reaching impact on maintaining regional stability and promoting the peaceful development of the world.

General Makarov said the overall security situation of the world and the region was stable but factors of instability existed. He said trans-national crimes such as terrorism and arms smuggling were rampant and affected international and regional stability.

Those factors necessitate enhanced cooperation among various countries and the joint tackling of unconventional security threats, including terrorism, he said. .

— Xinhua

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