Military exchanges between Russia and China are already well established but more activities are planned for the Year of Russia in China and the Year of China in Russia, said Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Ivanov in Beijing on Wednesday.
Exchanges and visits between military personnel from the two countries had soared in recent years and Russia regarded China as a priority partner in military fields, said Ivanov at a press conference.
The joint military exercise held in China last year gave Russian officers and soldiers excellent opportunities to conduct exchanges with their Chinese counterparts, he said.
This year the 'Russian Knights' present an acrobatic show over three days in China as a prelude of the Year of Russia in China. Sports, singing and dancing events had also been held by the military departments of the two countries, he added.
The Year of China in Russia will open in 2007. A large range of activities are arranged to mark the event including exhibitions, business summits, cultural events and a whole range of other activities.
Ivanov is in China attending a meeting of defense ministers of the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization which was held Wednesday.
The defense ministers of China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan gathered in Beijing to discuss regional security issues.
During the meeting Wednesday morning they reached consensus on further strengthening defense cooperation and agreed to stage a joint anti-terror military exercise in Russia in 2007. A joint communique was issued at the end of the meeting.
(Xinhua News Agency April 27, 2006)