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Last Batch of Chinese Troops Arrive in Russia for Drills
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A planeload of Chinese troops for the anti-terrorism drills of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) arrived near the drill site on Friday, completing the transfer of Chinese troops and armaments for the exercise.

Russian girls welcome the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers' arrival at a railway station in Chelyabinsk of Russia on August 3, 2007.

The last trainload of Chinese servicemen arrived earlier in the day at the Misyash railway station near the Ural Mountains city of Chelyabinsk and will soon head to the Chebarkul drill site 75 km away, where Chinese and Russian air squadrons will conduct a joint exercise on Monday.

Setting out on July 20 from northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, over 300 Chinese servicemen traveled over 10,000 kilometers in 15 days and transported more than 500 tons of military hardware.

The exercises, dubbed "Peace Mission 2007" and scheduled to run on Aug. 9-17, will be carried out first in Urumqi, capital of China's Xinjiang region, and later move to Chelyabinsk.

The six member countries of the SCO -- China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan -- will all send troops for the drills.

About 6,500 troops and 80 aircraft are expected to take part in the drills, including 2,000 troops and 36 aircraft from Russia, 1,600 troops and 46 aircraft from China.

The exercise will help strengthen relations between the militaries of SCO members and enhance cooperation in defense and security, said Guo Boxiong, vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission.

The six SCO member countries held their first joint anti-terrorism military drills in 2003. China and Russia conducted a joint military exercise in 2005.

(Xinhua News Agency August 4, 2007)

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