24.9 C
September 18, 2021

Chinese, Russian troops join central Asia exercises

Thousands of Russian, Chinese and Kazakh soldiers began two weeks of war games in Kazakhstan on Monday, preparing to counter regional threats ranging from drug traffickers to Islamist militants. More than 3,000 troops will take part in the exercises at the Matybulak military range in southern Kazakhstan. Almost a third of them are Chinese, underlining Beijing’s growing clout in central Asia, a region Moscow still sees as within its sphere of influence. The “Peace Mission 2010” exercises are the largest in three years involving the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a six-nation group led by Moscow and Beijing that some analysts say might one day become a counterweight to NATO.

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