DUSHANBE, August 11, 2014, Asia-Plus -- More than 200 servicemen of the Ministry of Defense of Tajikistan (MoD) today left for China to participate in a large-scale military exercise of the armed force of member nations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), dubbed Peace Mission 2014 .

“This joint large-scale war game will be conducted at the Zhurihe Training Base in China’s Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region from August 24 to 29,” Faridoun Mahmadaliyev, a spokesman for a MoD, told Asia-Plus in an interview.

According to him, Tajik military mission participating in the upcoming military exercise in China will be led by the First Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Tajikistan, Major-General Tohir Khairulloyev.

“Tajik military mission members will include servicemen of the special rapid reaction unit of the Ministry of Defense,” Mahmadaliyev said.

According to information posted in the Ministry of Defense of China, the relevant countries have previously conducted three rounds of discussions and fully exchanged views on such subjects as time of exercise, implementation of exercise plan, participating troops, arrangements of high-level activities and so forth.

Peace Mission 2014 is the fifth multilateral joint military exercise within the framework of the SCO.  It is reportedly themed by preparations for and implementation of joint anti-terrorism campaign, so as to deter the "three forces" namely, terrorism, separatism and extremism, safeguard the peace and stability within the region of the SCO member countries, and improve the coordinated anti-terrorism capability of the troops from the participating countries.  The joint military exercise is not targeting any third party.

The previous Peace Mission war games were conducted in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010.  More than 4,000 Chinese soldiers reportedly participated in the joint military exercises in 2007 (known as Peace Mission 2007 ), which took place in Chelyabinsk oblast, Russia.  Peace Mission 2010 , conducted September 9–25 at Kazakhstan''s Matybulak training area, reportedly involved more that 5,000 personnel from China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Founded by the leaders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan on June 15, 2001, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an intergovernmental organization.  Except for Uzbekistan, the other countries had been members of the Shanghai Five; after the inclusion of Uzbekistan in 2001, the members renamed the organization.

The Organization currently has six full members -- China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Mongolia, Iran, Pakistan and India are four observer states, and SCO’s dialogue partners include Belarus, Sri Lanka and Turkey.