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ROC Central News Agency

2005-08-24 14:35:48

    Washington, Aug. 23 (CNA) U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Tuesday that he neither finds the current Chinese-Russian joint military exercise notable nor sees it as a threat to Taiwan or to anyone else.

    The secretary made the comments at a joint press conference he held with Adm. Edmund Giambastiani Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chief of Staffs.

    In response to a question regarding whether he is concerned about the first-ever Chinese-Russian joint military exercise, Rumsfeld said that the United States is obviously observing the drills.

    Nevertheless, he added that he doesn't see the joint military exercise as particularly significant as "nations have exercises all the time." "We do with any number of countries, dozens of different countries. And we -- NATO countries, do with Russia on various things, and with India, " he further said, adding that "it is just a fact that countries get together and engage in various types of exercises."

    Meanwhile, Adm. Giambastiani said at the press conference that the United States monitors all military exercises, including the ongoing joint Chinese-Russian drills.

    The eight-day military exercise, which began last Thursday, involves some 10,000 air, sea and land troops. The drills are designed to test the ability of the two countries's counter-terrorist and counter-separatist capabilities, according to Russian and Chinese officials.

(By Oliver Lin and P.C. Tang)


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