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Last Updated: Monday, 27 December, 2004, 18:43 GMT
Russia and China plan war games
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov (right) during his Beijing visit
Ivanov (right) has just returned from defence talks in China
Russia and China - former Cold War foes - will hold an unprecedented military exercise in the second half of 2005.

The war game, involving naval ships and aircraft, will take place on Chinese territory, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov said.

China has become a major market for Russian weapons. In the past five years these exports have risen to $5bn.

Russia and China have developed what they call a strategic partnership since the end of the Cold War.

Russia will not bring large numbers of servicemen to the exercises, but mostly state-of-the art weapons, including submarines and probably strategic bombers, Mr Ivanov was quoted as saying.

Main supplier

Russian observers say that China gets half of Russia's weapons exports.

Mr Ivanov visited China earlier and described his discussions on Russian weapons deliveries as "record-breaking".

Moscow and Beijing share the concept of a multi-polar world - opposing what they see as US global dominance.

Mr Ivanov said that in 2005 Russia would also hold joint exercises with other former Soviet countries, Nato and, separately, with France.

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