Russian President Vladimir Putin praised present ties with China and urged for greater joint efforts to boost bilateral relations during his meeting Wednesday with visiting Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan in Sochi.
Russian-Chinese ties are at a historical high and the strategic partnership between the two countries is crucial to relations, Putin told Cao, who arrived in the Black Sea resort from Moscow, where he had met Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov and Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov.
Links between the armed forces of the two countries are conducive to boosting their defense capabilities, the Russian leader said, urging the two countries' military to work closely to benefit further growth of bilateral ties.
Putin praised the capabilities of both armed forces in last month's joint military exercises.
China and Russia held their first joint military exercises, codenamed "Peace Mission 2005," from August 18 to 25. The week-long maneuvers, which started in Russia's Far East and later moved to east China's Shandong Peninsula, involved 10,000 troops from both countries.
Cao said China and Russia, as permanent members of the UN Security Council, shoulder major responsibilities for safeguarding world peace and promoting common prosperity.
Cooperative ties between the two armed forces are expanding as the strategic partnership of the two countries continues to grow, he said.
The joint drills demonstrated a new level of mutual trust in political, military and security ties and have laid a firm foundation for deepening cooperation in national defense and security, Cao said. He also pledged greater efforts to boost bilateral ties.
Cao arrived in Moscow Monday on a five-day visit to Russia.
(Xinhua News Agency September 8, 2005)