By Liu Min and Mei Shixiong
ORENBURG, Russia, Sept. 17 -- “The Peace Mission-2021 exercise has been held under clear legal norms featuring legitimacy and operability,” said Wang Jianfei, head of the foreign affairs working group of the Chinese side participating in the Peace Mission-2021 SCO joint counter-terrorism military exercise, in an interview on September 16.
It marks a successful implementation of the Agreement between Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation on Holding Joint Military Exercises, which has provided institutional, standardized, and practical guarantees for holding joint military exercises by the armed forces of all the SCO members.
Joint military exercises held by multinational armed forces commonly involve complex legal issues, such as the relationship of rights and obligations of the participating countries, the legal status of participating troops and personnel, and the transit of troops and personnel jurisdiction. According to international practice, bilateral or multilateral legal documents should be signed to clarify the above-mentioned issues. “In peacetime, the entry of the armed forces of one country into the territory of another country must be based on clear-cut legal norms and under legal protection,” said Wang.
In June 2007, defense ministries of the SCO member states signed the Agreement between Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation on Holding Joint Military Exercises. The document makes legal restraints to the incoming troops, stipulating that all troops involved in exercises must respect the sovereignty, laws and customs of the host nation, not interfering in its internal affairs, nor engaging in the political activities on its territory. The Agreement has been reviewed and approved by the highest organ of state power of the member states, ensuring the troops'exit and entry in accordance with laws and regulations.
According to Wang, “it stipulates what the armed forces of participating countries can do and cannot do in the host nation, helping dispel a host nation's all possible misgivings.”
Before departure to Russia, the Chinese participating troops have formulated a code of conduct, including norms and customs that should be observed during the Peace Mission-2021 on the territory of Russia, and made sure it reached every participant. “Even on the train to Russia, which had ran for 9 days and nights, the Chinese troops studied related laws, culture and social customs and habits of Russia in the fixed time every day,” Wang said.
According to Wang, since arriving in the exercise venue and engaging in preparations in the past several days, the Chinese participating troops have behaved themselves in strict accordance with the Agreement, demonstrating that they have had a good command of the essential spirit of the Agreement and specific contents concerning the exercise.