China War Games in Central Asia

China, Tajikistan to hold military exercise

BEIJING, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) — China and Tajikistan will hold their first joint military exercise, code-named “Cooperation-2006”, on Sept. 22 and 23, according to a memorandum of understanding signed between the two countries in April.

    The exercise will focus on international terrorism, dealing with crises, and strengthening each country’s capacity to handle new challenges and threats.

    The China-Tajikistan military exercise is one of several joint military exercises taking place in the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, whose members are China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

    Feng Yujun, of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said that as new threats, such as terrorism, separatism, extremism and cross-border crime, became more prominent, regional and international cooperation were required, and the joint military exercise would strengthen capabilities to handle crises.

    The first joint military exercise that China carried out under the SCO banner was with Kyrgyzstan in October 2002.

    In August 2005, China and Russia launched a high-profile 8-day military exercise in Vladivostok, Russia. The exercise, code-named “Peace Mission 2005,” involved nearly 10,000 armed personnel, as well as airborne units, marine corps and logistics units.

    China and other SCO members have also carried out military drills involving several countries. In August 2003, all the SCO members except Uzbekistan carried out their first-ever joint anti-terror exercise.

    The SCO was established in 2001 to combat terrorism. At the Shanghai Summit held in Shanghai this June, the SCO leaders further strengthened the organization’s ability to fight terrorism.

    The SCO should become an effective mechanism for member countries to tackle new challenges and threats and safeguard international and regional security, according to a joint communique signed by the SCO defense ministers in April.

    They also agreed to stage a joint anti-terror military exercise in 2007 in Russia. An expert group will be set up to coordinate the preparation and implementation of the joint war game.

    Anti-terrorism drill was also held between the SCO law enforcement bodies. China and Kazakhstan finished the first phase of a joint anti-terror drill between the law enforcement bodies and special forces this August.

    Besides the military exercise with other SCO members, Chinese military also held other forms of exercise with foreign countries. Chinese naval forces conducted the joint search and rescue exercise with Pakistan, India and Thailand.

    China is becoming an important force to safeguard the peace and security in the region and the world as a whole, said Feng. Enditem


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