BISHKEK, June 26 (RIA Novosti) – Beijing is committed to boosting its defense collaboration with member states of a post-Soviet security group that includes Russia, China’s defense minister said Wednesday.
Joint military exercises as part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which also includes Kyrgyzstan and neighboring Central Asian states, are a “real necessity” for ensuring regional peace and stability and “enhancing political and strategic confidence,” Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan said on an official visit to Bishkek.
Russia has pledged to begin supplying weapons and other military hardware to Kyrgyzstan later this year to help modernize that nation’s armed forces. The measure is based in part on a desire to thwart the spread of Islamic extremism in the post-Soviet region, a senior Russian defense analyst told RIA Novosti.
The Chinese minister on Wednesday also said his country was making active preparations for a series of anti-terrorism exercises, code named Peace Mission 2014, within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.