Chinese troops arrive in Russia for SCO joint military exercise

Chinese troops arrived in Russia on Saturday for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) joint military exercise, "Peace Mission 2018". Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Russia Aug 20, 2018, 02.44 PM (IST)

Chinese troops arrived in Russia on Saturday for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) joint military exercise, "Peace Mission 2018".

China pitched more than 700 officers and men and an armored tank battle group, an air combat group and a Special Force group. They battle groups will be projected group by group by air, land and rail to the Chebarkulsky training ground in Russia's Ural Mountains region.

The event, to last from August 22 to August 29, will have the participation of 3,000 troops from the eight SCO member countries, namely, China, Russia, Pakistan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The biannual exercise is the 7th in a series, with land, air and new military force as the main players. The exercise will be executed in two stages: strategic consultation and joint anti-terrorism battle preparations and execution.

Describing Russia's welcome ceremony as warm and hospitable, Chinese military officer Ma Qixian said the exercise will enhance friendship among the SCO countries.

"We feel at home here. I believe the Peace Mission 2018 will be a complete success and will exhibit our sincerity and further enhance our friendship," he said.

Founded in 2001 in Shanghai, the SCO upholds the “Shanghai Spirit” that features mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for cultural diversity and pursuit for common development.