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SCO Anti-terror Drill in Full Swing
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About 2,000 troops from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) members held a joint field exercise on Saturday, starting the second phase of the "Peace Mission 2007" anti-terror drill.

Those troops, from China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, staged a parade at a military base near Russia's Ural Mountains city of Chelyabinsk.

Commanders from the six countries agreed that since the SCO was forged in June 2001, it has abided by the "Shanghai Spirit," which embodies mutual trust and benefit, equality, respect for cultural diversity and a desire for common development.

The organization has established a new model of defense and security cooperation under the principles of openness, transparency and non-targeting at the third party, they noted.

The joint exercise is intended to show the will and determination of SCO members in action to crack down on the "three evil forces" -- terrorism, separatism and extremism. It will improve their battle effectiveness and upgrade cooperation mechanism in a bid to maintain regional peace and stability, they said.

"It has been proved in today's maneuver that the joint drill will unite our troops and facilitate our cooperation," said Chinese deputy commander Liu Chengjun. Chinese troops could learn from their partners in terms of principle, tactics and braveness, he added.

In the first phase of the drill, chiefs of staff of the six military forces held strategic negotiations and gave orders in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Thursday.

About 6,500 troops and 80 aircraft took part in the excise, which will last till Aug. 17 in the Chebarkul range near Chelyabinsk.

(Xinhua News Agency August 12, 2007)


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