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China and Russia in Strategic Dialogue
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With the objective of further promoting their bilateral strategic partnership of coordination through non-governmental channels China and Russia yesterday launched friendly strategic talks.  


The first meeting, co-sponsored by the China Association for International Friendly Contacts and the Russian Institute of Security, National Defense and Justice, was attended by approximately 50 experts and scholars from both countries to discuss strategic issues on regional security, anti-terrorism and energy cooperation.


Li Guixian, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top advisory body and Mihail Nikolaev, vice chairman of the Russian Federation Council, attended this first meeting.


Li said non-governmental exchanges played an important role in improving international relations. The launch of the friendly strategic dialogue would enrich the China-Russia strategic partnership of coordination and give it fresh meaning. "It's conducive to increasing friendship and mutual trust between the two nations and contributes to the sound and stable development of bilateral relations," Li observed.  


Nikolaev said Russia and China had cooperated very well in political, economic, military and cultural fields, setting a fine model of good relationships for other countries of the world to follow. The dialogue was sure to help the two countries better understand each other, Nikolaev added.


The dialogue is part of the "Year of Russia in China" program that is designed to further bilateral friendship through various organized events.


China, Russia to stage military programs next year


The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) announced yesterday that China and Russia will hold military cooperation programs next year, including a joint exercise. "There'll be eight military cooperative items next year -- the 'Year of China in Russia'," said Zhang Qinsheng, assistant to the chief of the PLA's General Staff.


Zhang leads the military group of the Chinese organizing committee for the "Year of Russia in China" and the "Year of China in Russia." The two countries will hold a joint military exercise in Russia under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Zhang said. The comments were made by Zhang in an interview with the official website for the two "national years."


Next year Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan will visit Russia and PLA Navy Commander Zhang Dingfa will lead a naval fleet to the country. Chinese officers will display parachute techniques in Moscow.


PLA representatives will participate in a road show and an art exhibition will be organized to display the friendly exchanges between the two armed forces. Programs on the PLA's modernization will be aired on Russian television. And Chinese and Russian journalists will visit the border between the two countries by road.  


Zhang said the programs scheduled for this year included Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov's visit and a Russian naval command's visit to China.


(Xinhua News Agency September 29, 2006)


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