The chiefs of staff of Chinese and Russian armed forces
announced the start of joint military exercises in Vladivostok at
11:00 AM today (8:00 AM Beijing time), and stressed they were
neither aimed at nor concerned the interests of any third
Guanglie, chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People's
Liberation Army, said they will focus on strategic consultation and
battle planning, transportation and deployment of troops, and
His Russian counterpart Yury Baluyevsky, speaking alongside
Liang in the base of Russia's Pacific Fleet, echoed him and said
the holding of the exercise does not mean that the two countries
want to form anything like a military bloc.
Code-named "Peace Mission 2005," the 8-day drill is thought to be
the first between the two countries since a joint naval exercise in
1999, and the first ever to involve ground, sea and air forces
It will involve nearly 10,000 troops from the two armies,
navies, air forces as well as airborne units, marine corps and
logistic units, according to China's Ministry of Defense
Sergey N. Goncharov, charge d'affaires at the Russian Embassy in
China, told Xinhua News Agency in Beijing today that the exercise
will inaugurate a new stage of military cooperation between the two
countries and strengthen mutual trust.
He said it was of great importance to the Shanghai Cooperation
Organization (SCO), which also includes Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Their representatives were invited to
watch, as were those from SCO’s observer nations Mongolia, India,
Pakistan and Iran.
"We hope similar exercises will be held within the SCO framework
in the future," said Goncharov.
The exercise is aimed at helping both armed forces get ready to
make joint efforts to strike international terrorists, national
separatists and religious extremists, who he said have conducted
activities in both countries and have been growing in SCO member
"Let them have a look at our joint military exercise and think over
whether it is worth continuing their activities," said Goncharov,
adding, "We hope the exercise can help cool the 'fervor' of these
terrorists, separatists and extremists."
Twenty Chinese and Russian World War II veterans, ten from each
country, attended the launch ceremony.
(Xinhua News Agency August 18, 2005)