Russian-Chinese anti-terror drills are in full swing with the latter’s tanks and gunships training at a military range in the Urals. It comes less than a month after joint naval drills, the largest of their kind China has participated in to date.
The joint counter-terror exercises, codenamed Peace Mission 2013, went live on Saturday and will last until August 15.
“The key goal of the upcoming maneuvers is to organize the joint work by control authority and troops to prepare and conduct military actions during the anti-terrorist operation. The maneuvers will take place in three stages, which include the re-deployment of troops, the planning of the operation and joint military actions,” a military press release said.
Maneuvers have been prepared by the United Strategic Command of the Russian Central Military District and the Shenyang Military Region of the People’s Liberation Army of China.
The drills at the Chebarkul military training area in the Chelyabinsk region involve 1,500 personnel, 600 of whom are Chinese servicemen. Overall 250 pieces of military hardware are taking part in the exercises, as Chinese troops brought along their own tanks, light reconnaissance vehicles, 120-mm self-propelled howitzers, 152-mm self-propelled guns, JH-7A ‘Flying leopard’ fighter-bombers and Harbin Z-9 gunships and Mi-171 transport helicopters.
On August 1 a Chinese task force deployed to Russia celebrated the birthday of the People’s Liberation Army of China while training with Russian servicemen.
“We’re glad that both countries have a high level of mutual trust. We’re not competitors, but we’re partners. Trust between the two countries became the unique feature of the Peace Mission,” Shi Xiangyuan, deputy chief of staff of the Shenyang Military Region of the People’s Liberation Army, told ITAR-TASS news agency on Saturday.
“We’re pleased that we are conducting the exercises in the military district which hosts 40 percent of Russia’s armed forces. I’m sure that the Peace Mission 2013 will yield results. This is a new stage of military cooperation between the Chinese and Russian armies,” the Chinese military said, stressing that strategic cooperation between the Russian and Chinese armies had reached an unprecedented level in the recent years.
At a media conference that introduced the exercises, Shi Xiangyang relayed to reporters a Chinese proverb, saying “We don’t seek to be number one, but we seek perfection.”
Just like the Russian army, the People’s Liberation Army of China is undergoing technical and structural reforms right now. Joint exercises like Peace Mission 2013 are called with an eye to helping both armies to strive as close to perfection as possible.
Economic and diplomatic ties between Moscow and Beijing have gotten increasingly close in recent years. The positions of the two countries have mostly coincided on a large number of major issues in geopolitical affairs, as Russia and China have presented a united front in the UN and other international organizations.
All Russian-Chinese war games are organized within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which was founded in 2001. The SCO comprises China, Russia and four Central Asian countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Full article: Chinese military hardware hits Russia for joint anti-terror drills (Russia Today)