China, Russia agree to strengthen defense co-op
MOSCOW - Top Chinese and Russian military officials met here on Sunday, with both sides expressing the hope to further strengthen defense cooperation.
During a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Chang Wanquan, Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister, said that bilateral defense cooperation is a key part of China-Russia relations.
Through joint efforts, wide-ranging and multi-layer defense cooperation has become a pivot of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership, Chang noted.
Currently, both sides should work hard to implement the consensus reached by leaders of the two countries, and strengthen military-to-military exchanges and cooperation, said the Chinese minister.
China is ready to work with Russia to tap the potentials and expand the scope of bilateral defense cooperation, so as to lift it to a new level, Chang said.
He cited several key areas in the promotion of pragmatic cooperation between the two armed forces, including high-level contact, strategic negotiation, joint exercise and personnel exchange.
Chang also pointed out that the just-concluded state visit to Russia by Chinese President Xi Jinping has injected new impetus into the two countries' strategic partnership.
"Given the complex international scenario today, China-Russia strategic cooperation and coordination will not only benefit the two peoples, but also help promote world peace and stability," he observed.
Shoigu, for his part, hailed the "unprecedented high level" of the Russia-China strategic partnership. The consensus reached by the top leaders has shown the direction of future development of bilateral ties, he noted.
Russia attaches great importance to mutually beneficial cooperation with China, and is satisfied with the fruitful military exchanges between the two sides, the minister said.
Russia is willing to strengthen coordination with China and further push forward defense cooperation between the two countries, he added.