Belgium and China should strive for the further sound and steady development of the friendly relations between their governments and armed forces on the basis of long-term mutual trust, a senior Belgian legislator said in a recent interview with Xinhua.
Andre Flahaut, deputy speaker of the Belgian House of Representatives and former defense minister, said the governments and armed forces of the two countries have all along maintained friendly relations.
"As one of Belgian political leaders, I have always stood for closer ties between the two countries at all levels," Flahaut told Xinhua on the eve of China's Army Day which falls on Aug. 1.
He said disparities in their size of population and territories can not and should not hinder the two countries from developing firm, stable and long-term relations in various fields.
The governments and armed forces of the two countries have maintained close ties in many fields, personnel training for example. The two countries have deepened mutual trust by promoting mutual understanding and cooperation, Flahaut said.
He expressed satisfaction with strengthened cooperation in education, health care, culture, and other fields.
When asked about the exchanges between the two armed forces in personnel training , Flahaut said they should be continued and strengthened.
"We should broaden our vision through these military training and initiate exchanges with some major countries such as China, India and some African nations by exchanging military cadets or other students. It is very important for us to maintain exchanges between young people and young military personnel," Flahaut said.
Speaking of the Shanghai World Expo next year, Flahaut said Belgium should take an active part in the event, avail itself of the opportunity to forge long-term mutual trust between the two countries, better understand China as a partner, and learn more about its potentials, strength, and possible attainment in economy, finance, trade, education and culture.
The mutual understanding and exchange aimed at achieving long-term mutual trust will yield fruitful results in bilateral cooperation, he said.
(Xinhua News Agency July 30, 2009)