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Troops Leave for Russia Drill
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A batch of 300 Chinese officers and soldiers boarded a train on Friday for Russia, where they will join an anti-terrorism drill held by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Officers and soldiers left Turpan railway station for Russia at 11:30 AM, along with armaments needed for the drill.

The six member countries of the SCO -- China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan -- will stage a joint anti-terrorism drill from Aug. 9 to 17.

The drill, "Peace Mission 2007", will be carried out in Chelyabinsk in Russia's Ural mountain region and in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

All the officers and soldiers wore labels bearing the signs of "Peace Mission 2007" in blue and China's national flag.

Xu Caihou, Vice-Chairman of China's Central Military Commission, at the station ordered the officers and soldiers to maintain the spirit of China's military forces in the drill.

Xu urged them to confront all possible difficulties and hazards, so as to fully display China's determination and capability to maintain world peace and development.

He reminded them to closely cooperate with troops from other countries and take account of the greater good.

This is the first time the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) has sent so many soldiers and armaments to such a distant drill.

A total of 1,600 soldiers from China's army and air force -- including airborne and logistic units -- will take part, according to the Ministry of Defense.

(Xinhua News Agency July 21, 2007)

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