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Russia, China Preparing For Exercises

2 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Russia and China will hold their first-ever joint military exercises later this month.

China's state Xinhua news agency said more than 100,000 troops will take part in the exercises scheduled for 18-25 August. They will include army, navy, air force, marine, airborne, and logistics units and will be held in Vladivostok, in Russia's Far East, and in the coastal Chinese province of Shandong and nearby waters.

Both Russia and China are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and Xinhua said they had invited defense ministers from other members and observer states to watch the joint exercises. In addition to Russia and China, the SCO includes Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

In a statement quoted by Xinhua, the Chinese Defense Ministry said the exercises are not aimed against the interests of any third country.

(Reuters)

Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org



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