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UPDATED: 20:04, September 08, 2004
China to conduct more military exchanges with Kazakhstan: defense minister
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China hopes to carry out more exchanges and cooperation with Kazakhstan in various fields including strategic consultation, to push friendly military relations to a new high, said Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan Wednesday.

Cao, also vice chairman of the Central Military Commission and State Councilor, made the remarks at a meeting with Almaz Abdulymanov, vice chairman of the Committee of the Chief of Staff and chief of the Department of Operation Planning of the Kazakhstan Ministry of Defense.

Cao said that friendly relations and cooperation between China and Kazakhstan have developed smoothly since the two countries forged diplomatic ties more than 10 years ago.

Since the two armies began to conduct exchanges in 1993, they have maintained frequent high-level visits among military officials, Cao said, adding that bilateral military cooperation has continually expanded and deepened.

Abdulymanov expressed appreciation for China's support and help for Kazakhstan's armed forces. He said he hoped relations between the two countries and the two armies will maintain sound development momentum.

He also noted that Kazakhstan is concerned about the "three forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism, and is willing to cooperate with China to fight them.

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