Russian defense chief leaves for China to watch joint military exercises

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov left for China's port city of Qingdao on Tuesday to watch the upcoming third-phase of the Sino-Russian joint military exercises, the ITAR-TASS news agency reported.

"Ivanov will watch an amphibious assault landing operation and a fight for the capture and possession of the sea shore" in China's Shandong Province on Wednesday, a source in the Russian Defense Ministry was quoted as saying.

He will also hold talks with his counterparts from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Weifang, Shandong Province, the source said.

Defense ministers and military experts from the SCO, which groups China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and their ambassadors and military attaches to China have been invited as observers to the exercises.

Representatives of Mongolia, India, Pakistan and Iran, which are observers to the SCO, were also invited to watch the joint military exercises.

The joint exercises, code-named Peace Mission 2005, are aimed at deepening mutual trust; promoting military and security cooperation; enhancing cooperation and coordination between the two armed forces to fight against international terrorists and extremists; and settling regional crises, said the Russian Defense Ministry.

The joint military drill, an unprecedented event involving 10,000 servicemen from China and Russia, was launched in the Russian port city of Vladivostok on August 18 and moved to the Chinese soil the day after.

Source: Xinhua



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