Chinese troops in Russia for war games

Approximately sixteen hundred Chinese soldiers will take part in a joint military exercise in Russia's Ural Mountains, Chelyabinsk region. This is the first time China has sent a large number of troops and arms so far from its borders.

The first contingent has already crossed into Russia by rail.

Shanghai Co-operation Organisation countries including Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan will take part in the operation which is dubbed “Peace Mission-2007.”  

In total 6,500 servicemen, 80 aircraft, airborne and other units are expected to participate in the exercises.

Aleksandr Lukin, the Director of the East Asia and Shanghai Co-operation Organisation Research Center of the Moscow State University of Foreign Relations thinks that “the main goal of these exercises is fighting international terrorism and the plot of the scenario of the exercises, this time on the Russian territory in Chelyabinsk region, is only fighting terrorism and nothing else. According to the scenario, a group of so-called terrorists would occupy a village and then joint forces will try to deal with this problem. So, as you have said, the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation already had such exercises on the territories of several other member states. So I do not think there should be any worries about it.