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Army Says Open to Learn from SCO Troops
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Chinese military forces were open to learn from their counterparts taking part in a joint anti-terrorism exercise sponsored by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in this Russian city, Chinese officers said on Monday.


"Training programs are preparations for real war and we are not conservative in such exercises," said Lu Chuangang, a senior Chinese officer with the superintending command.


About 4,000 troops and 80 aircraft from China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are participating in the joint exercise, which will last until Aug. 17 in the Chebarkulrange near Chelyabinsk.


"The performance of airborne troops from Tajikistan was very impressive. They are as brave as tigers," Major. Li Dejiang of theChinese army said, when the troops held their last joint maneuver on Monday.


Senior Colonel Sun Xiuhe, however, was impressed by the Russian command procedures. "The Russian officers are precise when making and implementing plans and they will not change layouts in an easy manner," he said.


The People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China has carried out 17 joint war games with foreign armed forces since 2002 and has invited foreign military observers and military attaches in China to observe their exercises, as well as carrying out exchanges of visits by senior officers and defense consultations.


"Since a non-traditional threat has emerged in the world, more than half of joint military exercises are focusing on such operations as counter-terrorism, peacekeeping and humanitarian aid," said Ouyang Wei, a professor with the PLA National Defense University.


The joint anti-terror drill, the first of its kind involving military forces from all SCO members, will be observed by heads of state of the six nations on Aug. 17.


(Xinhua News Agency August 14, 2007)

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