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Russian DM to Visit
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Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov is scheduled to visit Beijing in early December to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries and deepen military cooperation.


The news was revealed by Zhang Qinsheng, assistant chief of general staff of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), who is currently visiting Russia, China News Service reported.


Zhang heads the Chinese military organizing committee for "Russia Year in China" and "China Year in Russia."


He said the timetable for a visit by the commander of the Russian Navy Admiral Vladimir Masorin, who will lead a naval fleet to China, has not been decided yet.


These two visits are part of the military programs for Russia Year in China.


Zhang said there would be eight military cooperative events next year, and he is working with his Russian counterparts to finalize plans.


The activities will include a joint military drill in Russia under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a parachute show in Moscow, a performance by a PLA troupe and a road trip along the border of the two countries by journalists.


Zhang said the "national years" between China and Russia are key decisions made by the leaders of the two countries to deepen the China-Russia strategic partnership for cooperation.


Military exchanges will help the two armies modernize, which conforms to the interests of the two peoples and is conducive to regional and world stability and peace, said Zhang.


China and Russia held joint military exercises last year, involving nearly 10,000 troops from both countries. They aimed at improving the capabilities of the two armies to combat new threats, deal with crises and organize coordinated actions in the backdrop of the fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism.


(China Daily October 19, 2006)

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