07MOSCOW3996, PEACE MISSION 2007″: SHANGHAI COOPERATION

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW3996 2007-08-15 11:34 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO0863
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #3996 2271134
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 151134Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2937
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 003996 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/13/2017 
TAGS: PREL MOPS PTER RS CH
SUBJECT: "PEACE MISSION 2007": SHANGHAI COOPERATION 
ORGANIZATION MILITARY EXERCISE IN CHELYABINSK 
 
Classified By: A/POL Colin Cleary. Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1.  (C) SUMMARY: The August 9-17 Shanghai Cooperation 
Organization (SCO) anti-terrorist exercise -- Peace Mission 
2007 -- is the largest in the history of the SCO. 
Approximately 6,500 troops are participating, the bulk from 
Russia and China.  SCO Heads of State, including Chinese 
President Hu, are expected to observe the conclusion of the 
exercise in Chelyabinsk August 17, following the SCO Summit 
in Bishkek.  Given China's economic dominance, some Russian 
analysts see the GOR's emphasis on developing the SCO's 
military dimension as a way for Russia to assert a leading 
role in the organization.  END SUMMARY. 
 
------------ 
The Scenario 
------------ 
 
2.  (U) The scenario for the August 9-17 "Peace Mission 2007" 
exercise in Chelyabinsk involves combating a terrorist 
takeover of a village.  Under the scenario, a reported 6,500 
troops from all six SCO countries -- but primarily Russia and 
China -- work together to defeat terrorists and free 
hostages.  (The first joint military exercise involving 
Russia and China in decades, Peace Mission 2005, was held on 
the Shandong Peninsula, China, in August 2005.  It was a 
combined air, land, and sea exercise that involved 8,000 
Chinese troops and 2,000 Russian troops.  The scenario also 
involved liberating a territory besieged by terrorists or 
separatists.) 
 
-------------------------- 
Counterbalance to the West 
-------------------------- 
 
3.  (C) Director of the World Security Institute Ivan 
Safranchuk told us August 7 that Russia seeks to use the 
Peace Mission 2007 exercise to demonstrate to the U.S. and 
NATO that, despite feelings of mutual suspicion, Russia and 
China can cooperate on substantive security issues. 
Cultivating ties with its Asian neighbors through the SCO 
will increase Russia's stature and better enable it to 
counter the U.S. and NATO diplomatically.  Amherst Professor 
Vitaly Kozyrev agreed.  Russia, he told us, wants to use the 
SCO, and this year's exercise, to demonstrate its ability to 
act as a counterweight to the West. 
 
----------------------- 
Tensions Within the SCO 
----------------------- 
 
4.  (C) Vice Director of the Institute of Asian and African 
Studies of Moscow State University Andrei Karneev told us 
August 9 that attempts by Russia and China to use the SCO to 
counter the West could backfire.  If the SCO is seen as 
primarily an anti-U.S. organization, he said, some Central 
Asian countries could desert.  Kazakhstan, for example, 
sought close ties with the U.S. to counterbalance the 
influence of Russia and China in Central Asia.  That is why, 
Karneev said, organizers made sure that the exercise had an 
anti-terrorist focus and took pains to emphasize that it was 
not aimed at any particular country. 
 
5.  (C) The Head of the Institute for Political and Military 
Analysis, Alexander Khramchikin, told us August 9 that Peace 
Mission 2007 highlighted some of the tensions between Russia 
and China.  He noted that Russia sees the exercise as a way 
to redefine the SCO as being a forum for military as well as 
economic cooperation.  With China as the economic powerhouse 
of the SCO, the only way for Russia to take a leading role in 
the organization is to emphasize the military component.  He 
pointed out that many Russian generals feel the Chinese 
military is making progress toward becoming a formidable 
fighting force, but still has a long way to go before it 
catches up to the Russian military. 
 
6.  (C) Deputy Executive Director of the Council of Foreign 
and Defense Policy Alexander Belkin told us Russia's belief 
in its military superiority over China was misplaced.  Many 
units of the Chinese military, especially the air force and 
navy, he argued, are better trained and equipped than their 
Russian counterparts.  He noted that China hopes to display 
some of this military prowess during Peace Mission 2007. 
RUSSELL

Wikileaks

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