Chinese and Russian defense ministers met in Qingdao, a port city of east China's Shandong Province, Wednesday on the sidelines of the China-Russian joint military exercises, for an exchange of views on the eight-day maneuver.
The joint military exercises are "a key strategic decision made by the state and military leaders of the two countries," Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan told his Russian counterpart Sergei Ivanov.
Cao said the decision was made in view of the international changes and was intended to deepen the bilateral strategic cooperative partnership.
"It's a significant event in the history of China-Russia military relations," acknowledged Cao, also vice chairman of the Central Military Commission and state councilor.
Cao said the military drills have demonstrated the new development of the China-Russia strategic cooperative partnership and the might of China-Russia military cooperation.
He said the maneuver helps deepen the two countries' mutual trust in military and security affairs, enhance bilateral cooperation in military training and improve the two armies' capability of responding to crises and conducting immediate joint operations.
The exercises "have an important realistic significance and profound historic impact on the safeguarding of regional and world peace and security," Cao said.
Ivanov said it is particularly significant to hold the drills at the 60th anniversary of the victory in world anti-fascist war.
The military exercises not only showed that the long-term friendship and cooperation between the two countries and their armies have been further improved, but also demonstrated that the China-Russia strategic cooperative partnership has entered into a new stage, Ivanov said.
After the meeting, the two ministers visited the direction office of the joint military exercises, where they listened to reports from army officers.
The China-Russia joint military exercises, which started from August 18 and were currently in the last phase, involve nearly 10,000 troops from both countries.
The joint drills aimed to improve the capabilities of the Chinese and Russian armies in combating new threats, dealing with possible crises and organizing coordinated actions on the backdrop of the fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism.
(Xinhua News Agency August 25, 2005)