Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan met in Beijing Thursday with his Tajikistan counterpart Sherali Khairullaev, and they pledged to enhance bilateral cooperation.
Cao, also vice chairman of the Central Military Commission and state councilor, said China regards Tajikistan as an important partner in Central Asia.
Cao said since the two countries established diplomatic ties 14 years ago, bilateral relations have made solid progress in all fields. As an important part of China-Tajikistan relations, the ties between the two armed forces have also witnessed sound development, especially in exchanges and training of personnel.
China will work with Tajikistan to enhance cooperation in defense and security fields and make joint efforts to improve the role of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in maintaining regional security and stability.
Khairullaev, who attended the SCO defense ministers meeting in Beijing Wednesday, spoke highly of China's efforts in hosting the meeting.
He expressed appreciation for China's assistance to Tajikistan, saying that Tajikistan will join China in promoting relations between the two countries and the two armed forces.
At Wednesday's meeting, defense ministers from Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan agreed to enhance defense cooperation and to stage a joint anti-terrorist military exercise in Russia in 2007.
(Xinhua News Agency April 28, 2006)