SCO to stage its largest drill in Russia

2018-08-22 21:53:28 | From:GlobalTimes

  The counter-terrorism drill of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) countries, scheduled to begin on Wednesday, is the largest under the SCO charter with the participation of India and Pakistan for the first time, and Chinese experts say the drill will greatly contribute to stability in Central and South Asia.

  The joint drill, Peace Mission 2018, which will be held in Russia until August 29, will see the participation of at least 3,000 soldiers from China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, India and Pakistan, and 10 representatives from Uzbekistan will serve as observers.

  Seven hundred Chinese soldiers will participate in the drill, including an armored tank battle group, an air combat group and a special force group. They arrived in Chebarkul, Russia on Saturday, PLA Daily, the newspaper affiliated with the People's Liberation Army (PLA), reported on Monday.

  The main areas of the joint drill include field reconnaissance, joint strikes, and counter-terrorism operations in residential areas. The drill plays a positive role in deepening defense and security cooperation among member countries, enhancing capacity in tackling new threats and challenges, and safeguarding regional peace and stability, China'sMinistry of National Defensespokesperson Ren Guoqiang said at a regular press conference in July.

  Xu Guangyu, a senior consultant at the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, told the Global Times on Wednesday that sending three combat groups of ground and air forces to the drill means that Chinese soldiers could easily adjust the composition of its combat team depending on the number and location of terrorists.

  "Chinese teams could adapt to mountainous regions with its tank combat group and special force group, and its air force could better help locate terrorist camps," Xu said.

  The previous SCO counter-terrorism drills were mainly limited to Central Asia. But because of the entry of India and Pakistan, the SCO's counter-terrorism mission has expanded to South Asia, Li Wei, a counter-terrorism expert at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations in Beijing, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

  The SCO was established in Shanghai in 2001, with China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as founding members. It expanded to include India and Pakistan in 2017.

  "The effective counter-terrorism cooperation among SCO countries has greatly undermined the terrorist groups in Central Asia in recent years, and it's expected that this effective cooperation will also boost stability in South Asia, a region faces more complicated counter-terrorism situation with a variety of active terrorist groups," Li said.

  Sun Zhuangzhi, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday that Peace Mission 2018 will also greatly improve military and political mutual trust among SCO countries, especially between India and Pakistan.

  "It's a rare opportunity for Pakistan and India, which have long been involved in military conflict, to enhance military exchanges and trust. This could improve regional stability," Sun said.

  Indian soldiers to Peace Mission 2018 have arrived in Russia. The Indian Air Force tweeted Tuesday, "New place, new environment, different language. But it took just a few moments to start understanding each other."

  Li said future counter-terrorism drills among SCO countries have to come up with new drills on targeting terrorist groups in South Asia. He suggested that the SCO further expand to include Afghanistan, which is currently an observer country, to strengthen counter-terrorism efforts in South Asia.

  Peace Mission 2018 also created a historic chance for four major military powers in Eurasia - China, Russia, Pakistan and India - to appear in the same military drill.

  "But it's worth pointing out that the four military powers in Eurasia will not form joint military troops to threaten Western countries, as SCO's military drills are open and transparent and are meant to contribute to regional and world stability," Sun said.

Your Comment


Related News

  • PLA to participate in Vostok 2018 drills

    For the first time the People's Liberation Army (PLA) will participate in Russia's Vostok military drills in a move that a Chinese expert said showcases their deepening strategic partnership.

  • China has 802 million internet users

    The number of internet users in China hit 802 million at the end of June, up 3.8 percent from six months ago, according to a report on the country's internet development released Monday.

  • President Xi to chair China-Africa summit September 3-4

    Chinese President Xi Jinping will chair the 2018 Beijing summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation September 3-4, during which Chinese observers predicted stronger China-Africa ties.

  • China's economy manageable despite pressures: experts

    Recent external pressures, a general global trade malaise and bold new domestic reforms are putting some extraordinary pressures on China's economy, but economists say positive indicators far outweigh the negative ones and predictions of doom and gloom will soon be prove wrong.

  • Xinjiang becomes logistics hub of Belt and Road

    Under the scorching sun, a crane loads containers of car parts, small commodities, and clothing onto a train.