China, Russia, central Asian countries begin joint military drill

China, Russia and four Central Asian countries launched in China's western Xinjiang region Thursday a military drill that is to last until Aug. 17, China's state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.

China, Russia, central Asian countries begin joint military drill
The chiefs of staff of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization members ordered troops to begin the drill aimed at countering terrorism after talks in Xinjiang's capital Urumqi, the report said.

The four central Asian nations in the SCO are the former Soviet states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The drill "is not intended to aim at any third party," Liang Guanglie, chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, was quoted as saying in the report.

"It does not concern the interest of any third party nor make any threat to any country," Liang was quoted as saying.

The drill to be held in Urumqi and Russia's Chelyabinsk will involve about 1,600 officers and soldiers from the Chinese People's Liberation Army, according to the report.

The SCO is considered by some in the region as a counterbalance to influence from the United States.

AP-Kyodo
Last Mod: 09 Ağustos 2007, 15:06
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