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China, Russia Discuss Military Cooperation

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov met on Monday with President Hu Jintao, Central Military Commission Vice Chairman Guo Boxiong and Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan to discuss Sino-Russian cooperation, including the two countries' first-ever joint military exercise.


The exercise is scheduled to take place next year.


Hu, also chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China, noted during their meeting that Sino-Russian strategic coordination has attained an unprecedentedly high level.

China and Russia have forged a comprehensive strategic partnership that has brought their relations to a new phase of overall growth.


Hu stated that China and Russia face the task of maintaining peace and stability and promoting common development. It is in the fundamental interests of people of every nation, he said, for the two countries and their armies to tighten coordination and cooperation within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and to work together in combating terrorism.


The two countries have previously signed a series of bilateral cooperation agreements, including the implementation program for the Sino-Russian Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation and the Supplementary Agreement on the Eastern Section of the China-Russia Border. The latter treaty completed the delimitation of the long-disputed boundary between the countries.


Ivanov responded that Russia is fully confident in the future development of Sino-Russian relations.


He added that relations between the two armies are an important part of the partnership and that Russia is willing to work with China to promote bilateral relations and to maintain peace and stability in the region and the world at large.


Cao and Ivanov agreed during their talks that next year's joint military exercise will be an important event with far-reaching significance for the relations between the two nations and the two armies.


Ivanov arrived in Beijing late Sunday for a four-day visit to China as guest of Cao, who is also a Central Military Commission vice chairman and state councilor. Ivanov is expected also to visit Sanya, a seaside resort in China's southernmost province, Hainan.


(Xinhua News Agency December 14, 2004)


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