BEIJING, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Russian troops are heading for the site of a multinational counter-terrorism drill in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the Chinese military said on Friday.
The 800-strong Russian army echelon entered China on Wednesday to join their counterparts from other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), including China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
Earlier reports said Russia would also send 12 aircraft to participate in the SCO drill to be held from Aug. 24-29 at the Zhurihe training base. The aircraft will enter China on Sunday, according to a Chinese military statement.
The drill is the fifth of its kind under the SCO framework and will aim at countering terrorism, separatism and extremism, safeguarding regional peace and stability and improving the militaries' coordinated ability to fight terrorism, said China's Ministry of National Defense.
Founded in Shanghai in 2001, the SCO groups China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan are observers. Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka are dialogue partners.