Armed forces from Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states will hold the "Peace Mission 2012" drill in Tajikistan from June 8 to 14, Ministry of Defense spokesman Yang Yujun announced Thursday.
The drill is a joint anti-terrorism military exercise launched under the SCO framework, Yang said, adding that the drill will involve more than 2,000 military personnel from China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Yang said the drill will focus on the preparation and implementation of joint anti-terrorism action in mountainous areas in the context of a regional crisis incurred by terrorist activity.
Yang said defense and security cooperation is an important part of relations conducted between SCO member states, adding that members have established a mechanism allowing for meetings between defense ministers and held meetings between SCO military chiefs over the last decade.
Member states have staged eight anti-terrorism drills, held five security forums and conducted exchanges concerning defense cooperation and personnel training, he said.
Defense and security cooperation has deepened military trust among SCO member states and enhanced their ability to cope with new challenges, he said, adding that cooperation has played a positive role in safeguarding regional peace and stability.
Over the last decade, the SCO's drills have developed from company-level tactical exercises to multilevel exercises featuring strategic consultation, battle preparation and simulated combat, he said, adding that the venues and varieties of soldiers involved in the drills have also evolved.
The drills have cemented and deepened SCO defense and security cooperation, strengthened the cohesiveness of the organization and increased mutual strategic trust between China and other SCO member states, Yang said.
(Xinhua News Agency May 31, 2012)