Russia, China to hold military exercises in July: Report

Russia and China will hold joint military exercises next month, a top Russian military official said today, as the giant neighbours work towards tighter cooperation.

Moscow, June 29: Russia and China will hold joint
military exercises next month, a top Russian military official
said today, as the giant neighbours work towards tighter
cooperation.

"The head of the Russian and Chinese military delegations
agreed that 1,300 soliders from each side would participate,"
said the deputy army chief, Lieutenant General Sergei Antonov,
adding that 20 Russian war planes would take part.

The massive five-day exercises, dubbed Peace Mission
2009, are to focus on anti-terrorism and will take place on
both countries` territories July 22-26, Antonov told the
state news agency.

The two countries are in their third round of talks to
hammer out the details of the joint manoeuvres, counting 2,600
men, he said.

Russia and China made a show of their strengthening ties
last month when Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Moscow for
a major bilateral summit.

The friendly diplomacy is a marked change from the later
decades of the Cold War era, when the Soviet Union and China
clashed for supremacy in the Communist world.

In recent years, the countries have taken great strides
to step up trade and put old rivalries behind them, ending a
decades-long dispute over their 4,300-kilometre border just
last year.

The two held joint exercises in 2005 and 2007 under the
auspices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a regional
security group consisting of China, Russia and four Central
Asian states.

Bureau Report

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