The Agreement on Mutual Reduction of Military Forces in the Border Areas stipulates that China and Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan will reduce their military forces in the border areas to the minimum level compatible with their friendly and good-neighborly relations, a level that shall not go beyond their defense needs. The geographical limits for the agreement's application are a 100-kilometer zone on both sides of the border. No 100-kilometer wide "vacuum" will be created, since troops will remain where they are. The border lines between China and the other four countries total more than 7,000 kilometers. None of the parties shall use or threaten to use force against the other party or parties, neither shall they seek unilateral military superiority. They will reduce and limit the size of their ground force, air force, air aviation and border guard units as well as the quantity of main categories of their armaments and military equipment deployed in the border areas as deep as 100 kilometers from their border. Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan can have 3,900 tanks, 3,810 of which are the Russian quota, in the area bordering China. In addition, Russia can deploy 4,500 armored fighting vehicles there. The same tank ceiling has also been set for China. A 15-percent reduction in the present Russian military grouping in the 100-km border zone with China is also envisaged. The parties will exchange relevant information and data on the military forces in the border areas; and they will monitor and verify the implementation of the Agreement. They will also exchange regularly relevant military information about the areas, which will be kept secret to any third party.
Talks on the accord initially began between China and the former Soviet Union in November 1989, in line with the agreement reached by the then top leaders of the two countries on the issue. In April 1990, the Governments of China and the former Soviet Union signed an agreement on guiding principles of reduction of military forces and confidence building in the military field in border areas. After the former Soviet Union broke up and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was formed, the talks resumed in 1992 between China and the four CIS members -- Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan andTajikistan. On 26 April 1996, the presidents of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan signed an agreement on confidence building in the military field in border areas in Shanghai, China. In April 1997, China and Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan signed the Agreement on Mutual Reduction of Military Forces in the Border Areas. It is proposed to implement this process over two years within the framework of the reform of the Russia's Armed Forces. The agreement, valid until the end of the year 2020.
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