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9/13/2010 China-- Thousands of Russian, Chinese and Kazakh soldiers began two weeks of war games in Kazakhstan yesterday, preparing to counter regional threats ranging from drug traffickers to Islamist militants.

More than 3,000 troops will take part in the exercises.

Almost a third of them are Chinese, underlining Beijing's growing clout in the former Soviet republics of central Asia, a region Moscow still sees as within its sphere of influence.

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