Chinese president arrives in Russia to observe joint anti-terrorism drill

Updated: 2007-08-17 04:17

CHELYABINSK, Russia -- Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived here Thursday to observe a joint anti-terrorism drill staged by the six member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

The heads of state from Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are also expected to observe the drill here on Friday.

The "Peace Mission 2007" exercises, which started on August 9 in Urumqi, capital of China's northwest Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, are being held in Chelyabinsk in Russia's Ural Mountains region.

Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Li Hui said last week that it is "the first joint and multilateral anti-terrorism drill staged by all the six members of the SCO."

The SCO member states hope that the military exercises would help intensify their exchanges and cooperation in defense and security, enhance the capabilities of their armed forces in collectively countering terrorism and promote regional peace, security and stability, he said.

The drill "is not aimed at any third party," said Liang Guanglie, chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, at a press conference in Urumqi last Thursday.

"It does not concern the interest of any third party nor makes threat to any country," he said.

Hu flew in from Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan, after paying a state visit to the country and attending a Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit. He will also visit Kazakhstan.

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