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Joint Drill with Russia Named 'Peace Mission 2005'

The Ministry of National Defense confirmed the dates of significant joint military exercises with Russia today as August 18 to 25 and said they would be called "Peace Mission 2005."

The drill is thought to be the first between China and Russia since a joint naval exercise in 1999.
In a press release, the ministry said the exercises will take place in Vladivostok in far eastern Russia and in east China's Shandong Peninsula and nearby offshore waters.
The exercises will involve nearly 100,000 troops from the armies, navies and air forces as well as airborne units, marine corps and logistic units of both armed forces, said the press release.
Chinese and Russian defense ministries signed a memorandum on conducting the drills in July 2004 and they were called "significant" by Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan during a visit from Russia's chief of general staff of the armed forces in March.
Defense ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organization member countries have been invited to watch the exercises, as have representatives from the organization's observer nations.
The maneuvers are in line with UN Charter guidelines and comply with widely recognized international laws and the respect of the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries, said the press release.
"The exercises are neither aimed at any third party nor concerned with the interests of any third country," it said.
The ministry said the drills aim to deepen Sino-Russian mutual trust, promote friendship and enhance cooperation and coordination between their armed forces in defense and security, and would help strengthen capability to strike international terrorism, extremism and separatism.

(Xinhua News Agency August 2, 2005)

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