First China-Russia military exercises conclude

The first China-Russia joint military exercises ended in Weifang, east China's Shandong Province Thursday after successful maneuvers of 10,000 troops from the Russian and Chinese navy, air force, army and paratroops.

"Through the exercises, the two armed forces enhanced their friendship and mutual trust, and improved their capabilities to meet new challenges and threats and to fight international terrorism, extremism and separatism," said Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan at the closing ceremony.

The exercises neither aim at any third party nor concern the interests of any third country, but merely reflect the common aspirations of the two countries for peace, unity and cooperation, and friendship from generation to generation, said Cao, also vice chairman of the Chinese Central Military Commission and state councilor.

The exercises demonstrate the firm determination of both countries to safeguard world peace and promote common development, he added.

The first-ever China-Russia military exercises, dubbed "Peace Mission 2005," began on Aug. 18 in Russia's Far East City of Vladivostok and moved to the Shandong Peninsula in east China the following day.

Cao said the successful joint military exercises also embodied the positive outcome of cooperation between China and Russia in the area of defense and security.

He attributed the "high-level and high-quality" exercises to full preparations, good organizing work and close coordination, saying all this showcased the brilliant military skills and commanding ability of the two armed forces.

Under the joint efforts, China and Russia will continue to strengthen their strategic partnership of cooperation and deepen their pragmatic military cooperation, said Cao.

"China is ready to work with Russian and other countries to safeguard world peace and stability, to build a harmonious world of common prosperity, and become a major constructive force for a new international order," said Cao.

As for regional cooperation, the Chinese defense minister said the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which groups China and Russia with some Central Asian countries, has played an increasingly important role in maintaining regional peace and stability and promoting economic development.

It has also demonstrated strong vitality and bright prospects for development, Cao said, adding that the successful joint military exercises would help the regional organization explore new ways for security cooperation so as to meet new challenges to the regional and international situation.

China and Russia will mark the 10th anniversary of the establishment of their strategic partnership of cooperation next year. Cao said the Chinese military would take the military exercises as opportunity to further exchanges and cooperation with the Russian military.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said at the closing ceremony that Russian and Chinese troops displayed a very high level of skills and tactics during the eight-day joint exercises.

Russia and China would hold new joint military exercises in the future and the friendship between the two armed forces will become a major guarantee of peace in Asia-Pacific and the world at large, he said.

"Only when we are closely united can we meet new challenges and threats," said Ivanov.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization observer delegates including Tajik Defense Minister Sherali Khairullaev, Kyrgyz Defense Minister Ismail Isakov, Kazakh Deputy Defense Minister Abai Tasbulatov and Uzbekistan Deputy Defense Minister R. Niyazov attended the closing ceremony.

Source: Xinhua

People's Daily Online ---