As a supplement to traditional diplomacy, military exchanges between countries are barometer of the soundness of diplomatic relations. China's military diplomacy in 2006 was fruitful.
Chinese officers attending the multinational naval exercise "Aman 07" exchange views with foreign counterparts.
In 2006, China exchanged military personnel with more than 130 countries, played host to over 40 defense ministers or chiefs of staff from other countries, participated in more than 40 bilateral or multilateral consultation or talks on military affairs and provided humanitarian aid to Lebanon, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Exchanges of high-level military visits facilitated mutual trust and mutual understanding of Chinese and foreign armed forces, and promoted consensus building and cooperation. As a result, military relations between China and Russia deepened, and that between China and the United States grew steadily. All-round and multilevel military exchanges and cooperation between China and other countries throughout the world went into full swing.
Joint military exercises, defense and security consultations and dialogues between China and other countries have boosted China's clout abroad. In September and November 2006, naval forces from China and the United States conducted a two-phase joint maritime rescue exercises, with each phase on the territorial waters of China and the United States respectively. The joint exercise is a new starting point in the military cooperation between the two countries. In September, China and Tajikistan held a joint antiterrorism exercise with codenamed "Cooperation 2006." The two sides explored commanding and combating strategies in antiterrorism, rehearsed coordination between the two forces, and built the platform to further antiterrorism cooperation. The exercise was also a pilot for the joint military exercises among SCO member countries scheduled for 2007. In November, China and Pakistan launched an antiterrorism exercise, codenamed "Friendship 2006," in Pakistan. The exercise strengthened friendly relations between the two countries and two armed forces, and promoted security cooperation between the two countries, on antiterrorism issues in particular.
China has always valued the development of friendly relations with neighboring countries and the maintenance of stability in its neighborhood. In 2006, military delegations from China visited more than 20 countries in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia and Central Asia. In the meantime, nearly 30 high-level military delegations and more than 30 delegations of military professionals from neighboring countries visited China. In addition, China exchanged military personnel with countries in West Asia, Africa, Southern Pacific and Latin America. The forms of military contacts were also diversified.