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Sino-Russian military drills demonstrate commitment to world peace: commander
2005-08-18 15:39:30 Xinhua English

VLADIVOSTOK, Aug. 18 (Xinhuanet) -- The first Sino-Russia joint military exercises demonstrate the common will of the two armed forces to safeguard peace and stability in the region and the world at large, said the Chinese commander of the military drills here Thursday.

The exercises, which are staged on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of World War II, neither aim at any third party nor concern the interests of any third country and will pose no threat to any country, said Liang Guanglie, chief of the general staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, at the opening ceremony.

The military exercises, code-named "Peace Mission 2005," began in the Russian Far East city of Vladivostok Thursday morning. The second and third stages of the drills will be held in the Shandong Peninsula and nearby offshore seawaters, east China.

The 10,000 troops from the army, navy and air force of the two countries will focus on the maneuvers of strategic consultations and battle planning, transportation and deployment of troops, and combat practice during the eight-day exercises.

Liang said the mission of the drills mainly aim to deepen Sino-Russian cooperation and coordination of the two armed forces in the areas of defense and security, and help strengthen the capability in jointly striking international terrorism, extremism and separatism.

"China is a responsible country and the People's Liberation Army is a strong force for maintaining world peace...We are ready to develop friendly cooperation with the people and armed forces of all countries," he said.

The exercises is a concrete step for further military cooperation between China and Russia under the new historical conditions and is of great significance to their strategic partnership of cooperation.

Under the complicated and changing international and regional situations, strengthening strategic cooperation between China and Russia is conducive to their joint efforts to deal with new challenges and threats, Liang added.

Echoing Liang's remarks, Yury Baluyevsky, chief of the general staff of the Russian armed forces, described the joint exercises as a brand new form of military cooperation between Russia and China.

"The joint military exercises reflects the joint efforts of Russia and China to serve peace and stability in the region and the world at large," said Baluyevsky.

Russian and China share similar or identical views on international and regional affairs. The holding of the joint military exercises does not mean that the two countries want to forge a military bloc in any form or pose any threat to any other country, Baluyevsky said.

Russia pays close attention to the stable development of the military and political situation in the Asia-Pacific region, said Baluyevsky. "From this standpoint, we are engaged in establishing friendly cooperation with all countries in the region."

According to him, the cooperation between Russia and China is growing in an enlarging scale and becomes increasingly comprehensive and active in a planned way. "Our relations in the military field has reached a high level and there is great potential for further cooperation."

As members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which also groups the Central Asian countries of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, China and Russia have vowed to work with other members to maintain regional security and stability and promote regional development and prosperity, said Liang.

Baluyevsky also stressed the importance to strengthen anti-terror cooperation within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

"As one of the major regional organizations in Asia, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is gradually becoming an important factor to consolidate regional peace and security," he said.

The defense ministers SCO member countries and representatives of the SCO's observer countries -- Mongolia, India, Pakistan and Iran -- are invited to watch the joint military exercises.

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