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China, Zimbabwe to Strengthen Military Ties
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China and Zimbabwe will strengthen the military ties in the coming years in a bid to quicken the modernization of the armed forces of the two countries, a Chinese military officer said in Harare on Monday.


"The Chinese army will provide more assistance to the Zimbabwe's defense forces in military materials and personnel training," Tian Jianjun, military attache of the Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe, said at a reception to celebrate the 79th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army held in Zimbabwe's capital city of Harare.


In May this year, the Chinese military donated machines and construction equipment worth of US$1.5 million to the Zimbabwe Defense Forces. In 2005, China provided the armed forces for Zimbabwe with 39 military trucks and educational and medical equipment worth of more than US$3 million.


Starting from 1960s, China has begun to help Zimbabwe to train military officers. Every year since then, at least 20 Zimbabwean officers have received various kinds of training in China.


According to an agreement signed between the military forces of the two countries, Zimbabwe will send 55 officers to China to receive military and technical training in the period between 2006 and 2007.


Zimbabwe Defense Forces (ZDF) commander General Constantine Chiwenga spoke at the reception, hailing the strong friendship between the two armies.


More than 100 people, including senior Zimbabwean officers, military attaches of many foreign embassies to Zimbabwe and the members of the Chinese military training team attended the reception.


(Xinhua News Agency August 1, 2006)

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