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International relations

China and Russia show unity as Taliban bang on Central Asia's door

Drills prepare for possible joint intervention if Afghan crisis spills over

Chinese and Russian soldiers train in China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, amid growing concern over the Taliban's rapid advance in Afghanistan.   © Xinhua/Kyodo

MOSCOW -- A large-scale joint counterterrorism exercise in northwestern China this week has highlighted Beijing's and Moscow's shared concern over violence spilling over from Afghanistan. 

Often regarded as economic rivals in Central Asia, the prospect of extremist groups gaining a foothold on their doorsteps is bringing China and Russia closer together, experts say. Some suggest that a Central Asian security crisis could even prompt joint military intervention, though others suspect such a partnership might quickly revert to competition.

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