By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 6:57 a.m. ET
CHEBARKUL TESTING RANGE, Russia (AP) -- Fighter jets streaked through the air as Russian and Chinese forces held their first joint maneuvers on Russian land Friday in a demonstration of their growing military ties and a shared desire to counter U.S. global clout.
The war games in the southern Ural Mountains involved some 6,000 troops from Russia and China along with a handful of soldiers from four ex-Soviet Central Asian nations that are part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a regional group dominated by Moscow and Beijing.
The drills coincided with a massive Russian air force exercise in which dozens of Russian strategic bombers ranged far over the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans.
President Vladimir Putin, Chinese leader Hu Jintao and other leaders of the SCO nations attended the exercise, which followed their summit Thursday in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek.
The summit concluded with a communique that sounded like a thinly veiled warning to the United States to stay away from the strategically placed, resource-rich region.
''Stability and security in Central Asia are best ensured primarily through efforts taken by the nations of the region ...full text