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DM Meets with Tajik, Kyrgyz, Kazakh Defense Officials

Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan met in Qingdao Tuesday with defense officials from Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan respectively, who are observing the Sino-Russian joint military exercises.


The defense officials are Tajik Defense Minister Sherali Khairullaev, Kyrgyz Defense Minister Ismail Isakov and Kazakh Deputy Defense Minister Abai Tasbulatov.


China and Russia started the third phase of the joint military drills, code-named "Peace Mission 2005," Tuesday in east China's Shandong Peninsula and its neighboring sea area. The eight-day maneuver involving nearly 10,000 troops is due to end on Thursday.     


While meeting with Khairullaev, Cao, also vice chairman of the Chinese Central Military Commission and state councilor, said China and Tajikistan as neighboring countries enjoy profound traditional friendship.


The neighborly friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries has kept growing in a stable, healthy manner since the two countries forged diplomatic ties, said Cao.


China is ready to make joint efforts with Tajikistan to tap potential for cooperation and lift China-Tajikistan relations to anew level, said Cao.


While conferring with Isakov, Cao said China cherishes the neighborly friendship with Kyrgyzstan and, regardless of vicissitudes of international situations, will as always supports the country's efforts for maintaining national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and developing national economy.


Cao said China hopes the two countries could increase military exchanges, continue to carry out cooperation in the area of anti-terrorism between the defense and security departments, and promote coordination within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).


While meeting with Tasbulatov, Cao said the relations between China and Kazakhstan have maintained a sound momentum. China is willing to consolidate military friendship with Kazakhstan as there are potentials for military cooperation between the two countries, acknowledged Cao.


Cao said China will work together with Kazakhstan to make continued efforts for enhancing understanding, developing friendship and deepening cooperation.


The first Sino-Russian military exercises are a major strategic decision made by the Chinese and Russian leaders with a view to the vicissitudes of international situation and deepening strategic partnership of cooperation, said the defense officials from the three SCO nations.


The exercises are also a move by the two countries and militaries of China and Russia to fulfill the purpose of the SCO to maintain peace, security and stability, held the officials.


The officials also held that the exercises could provide a valuable experience for practical military cooperation within the SCO framework and are of great significance to safeguard peace and security in the region and the world at large.


(Xinhua News Agency August 24, 2005)

Joint Military Drill with Russia Begins
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