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Russia, China plan joint military drills

July 2, 2013 at 9:41 AM

MOSCOW, July 2 (UPI) -- Chinese and Russian defense leaders said both sides would hold joint military and anti-terrorism exercises during the next two months.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu hosted a joint military meeting with Chinese officials in Moscow Monday. The Russian government said it was eager to increase high-level of exchanges with its Chinese counterparts.

Russian energy companies are focusing more on Asian markets in response to growing economic development. The U.S. military, meanwhile, said it was shifting its defense assets to Asia now that military commitments in the Middle East have ended.

China's official Xinhua News Agency reports Chinese and Russian maritime drills would start Friday and extend into next week. Russia plans to host counter-terrorism drills starting July 27 near the border with Kazakhstan.

Fang Fenghui, chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, said Monday the maneuvers were not meant as a statement to any third country. Both sides, he said, we working to ensure Central Asia remains secure and stable.

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