SCO not military alliance: PLA officer
Updated: 2014-08-21 10:43
ZHURIHE, Inner Mongolia- An upcoming anti-terror drill to be held among members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) does not indicate that it is becoming a military alliance, a senior People's Liberation Army (PLA) officer stressed on Wednesday.
"The SCO is a regional international organization in adherence to the principles of being non-aligned, non-confrontational and not targeted at any third party," said Wang Ning, chief director of the drill and deputy chief of the PLA general staff.
Cooperation among the member states aims at boosting mutual trust, maintaining regional stability, promoting the economic development of the region and member states, and building a new international economic and political order that is fair and rational, he added.
The Peace Mission-2014 anti-terror drill will be held from Aug 24 to Aug 29 among troops from China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan at the Zhurihe training base in North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region.
The drill aims at deterring terrorist forces including the East Turkistan Islamic Movement and improving the competence of member state troops, according to Wang.
A total of 7,000 troops from the five countries has been dispatched to participate in the drill, which will involve ground and air forces, special operations and airborne troops and others tasked with electronic countermeasures, reconnaissance, mapping and positioning.
Drones, airborne early warning aircraft, air-defense missiles, tanks and armored vehicles will participate.
"It's the first time that so many troops and so much weaponry have been deployed in joint drills under the SCO frame," said Wang.
Founded in Shanghai in 2001, the SCO groups of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan are observers. Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka are dialogue partners.