View Full Version : Russia, China Kick Off Military Exercises

08-18-2005, 07:37 PM
Russia, China Kick Off Military Exercises


(Gold9472: Make sure you look to see who was invited to this event, and who wasn't...)

Thursday August 18, 2005 9:01 PM

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (AP) - China and Russia sought to reassure a wary region Thursday that the aim of their first-ever joint military exercises was peaceful as both countries face mutual concerns about terrorism and extremism in Central Asia.

The war games launched Thursday will practice coordinating a joint force that culminates in a mock invasion next week on China's Shandong peninsula in the Yellow Sea - using thousands of air, sea and land forces to simulate a mission stabilizing a restive country.

The drills, dubbed ``Peace Mission 2005,'' are the latest indication of warming post-Cold War ties amid shared suspicions of U.S. dominance in world affairs. They also underscore Moscow's worries - and China's wariness - over a series of uprisings in several former Soviet republics that have resulted in pro-Western governments.

``The exercises are the logical continuation of the first signs of cooperation between Russia and China in the struggle against 'orange revolutions,' separatism and the dominant influence of the U.S. in the Euroasiatic sphere,'' the Gazeta.ru news Web site wrote Thursday. Orange was the color adopted by supporters of last year's revolution in Ukraine, which along with Georgia and Kyrgyzstan, saw mass demonstrations bring pro-Western administrations to power.

During an inauguration ceremony for the drills, the top Russian and Chinese military commanders laid wreaths at a World War II memorial in the Far East port of Vladivostok, where Russia's Pacific Fleet is based. The ceremony came just days after commemorations across Asia of the 60th anniversary of Japan's defeat in the Pacific.

The generals repeatedly stressed at a news conference that the drills weren't intended to be a show of intimidation.

``The goal is peaceful,'' Russian Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky said.

Chinese Gen. Liang Guanglie denied the moves to strengthen ties between Beijing and Moscow would lead to some kind of military union or the two countries fighting together against a common foe.

The exercises ``are being run under the goals and principles of the U.N., and are not directed against a third country and don't concern the interests of other countries,'' Liang said.

Beijing's main military focus is believed to be on Taiwan, where it is unlikely that Moscow would intervene.

However, Liang said the exercises with some 10,000 troops - mostly Chinese and about 1,800 Russians - also were taking place in the context of the ``fight against international terrorism, separatism and extremism.''

Both countries face concerns about Islamic militancy in Central Asia, as well as separatist movements at home. Russia has claimed its battle with Chechen separatists is part of the war against terror, while China claims ethnic Uighur militants are fighting for an independent Islamic state in its western region of Xinjiang.

Russia and China are the dominant countries in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a grouping that includes four former Soviet republics of Central Asia and which took on Iran, India and Pakistan as observers this year.

At a summit in July, the group called on Washington to set a date for the withdrawal of forces from Central Asia, where they have been deployed since late 2001 in support of military operations in neighboring Afghanistan.

Representatives from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization's countries have been invited to watch the exercises. The United States has not been invited, but Washington's new top commander in the Pacific said U.S. forces would be paying close attention.

``We're very interested in the exercise, we're interested in the types of things that they'll do,'' Adm. Gary Roughead told The Associated Press on Wednesday in Hawaii. ``We're interested in the complexity and the types of systems that they bring to bear.''

08-18-2005, 10:39 PM
Ok... as we can see, Iran, Pakistan, and India are playing "buddy-buddy" with Russian and China. ALL of those countries have been wheeling and dealing with Venezuela. Suddenly, the world is starting to become a smaller place.