China's military making advances in Kazakhstan
China's People's Liberation Army is apparently blazing some new trails with its participation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization exercises currently going on in Kazakhstan. According to Li Shuyin, a research fellow in the People's Liberation Army Academy of Military Science, as quoted in People's Daily:
Troops from Chinese Air force will fly from China for the first time to implement a long-range bombing mission after arriving at exercise regions and then fly back to home. The purpose is to train the troops' capabilities in long-rage strikes and air-ground coordination. In addition, the army aviation helicopters will conduct night shooting drills, which has never happed before.
Those are two pretty big advances, and the fact that they're doing both under the auspices of the SCO will certainly raise some eyebrows among those wondering about China's military ambitions in Central Asia.
Joshua Kucera is the Turkey/Caucasus editor at Eurasianet, and author of The Bug Pit.
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