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SCO Military Drill Not Targeting Any Country
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An ongoing joint military exercise sponsored by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will not target at any country or organization but is a support to the international war against terrorism, a senior Chinese diplomat said Friday.

Chinese Ambassador to Russia Liu Guchang told reporters at a press conference that the "Peace Mission 2007" exercise, the first joint anti-terror drill involving military forces from all SCO member countries, will be observed by heads of states of the six nations.

"It indicated the importance attached by member countries to the drill and they will enhance cooperation, jointly crack down on the three evil forces, maintain regional peace, security and stability as well as determination to promote the development of SCO," he said.

The SCO, which holds a defense and security principle of fair, open and transparency, will not play as a close military bloc but will advocate for a new concept of security featuring mutual-trust, mutual-beneficial, equality and coordination, Liu said, noting it holds a principle of non-alliance, non-confrontation and will not target at any third country or organization.

Founded in Shanghai in 2001, the SCO was aimed at enhancing security, trade, cultural, military and justice cooperation among member countries.

The 10-day exercise will promote exchange and cooperation among China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and improve their ability in jointly fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism and coping with new threat and challenges, Liu said.

The chiefs of staff of armed forces of the six member nations ordered commanders of various troops to launch the long-prepared anti-terror drill on Thursday, following strategic consultations in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

About 6,500 troops and 80 aircrafts are expected to take part in the drill in Russia's Ural Mountains city Chelyabinsk and in Urumqi from Aug. 9 to 17.

A total of 1,600 officers and soldiers from land and air forces of Chinese People's Liberation Army will participate in the drill.  

(Xinhua News Agency August 11, 2007)

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