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Foreign, Chinese militaries share wishes for New Year
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08:26, January 29, 2008

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Foreign military attaches and People's Liberation Army (PLA) officers departed from the usual talk of guns and maneuvers last night to exchange good wishes for the New Year.

At a reception held by the Ministry of National Defense, Chinese and foreign military officers promised to keep working closely to enhance mutual understanding and trust.

Major-General Qian Lihua, director of the ministry's foreign affairs office, said China will this year push ahead with the reform of the military and build up friendship and trust with foreign military forces.

"The PLA will deepen its friendship and mutual trust with military forces of all countries and carry out all-around military exchanges and cooperation," Qian said at the event's opening ceremony.

"The Chinese military is facing the world in a more active and open way," he said.

Christof Gertsch, head of the Foreign Military Attache Corps and Swiss defense attache, said he looked forward to more tours, observation of military exercises and other forms of exchanges this year.

Military attaches should bear in mind the ideal of the Beijing Olympics - "One world, one dream" - and work together for better understanding, he said.

The PLA took active steps in international military exchanges last year.

In September, it invited 55 military observers from 35 countries to watch the "Warrior 2007" live ammunition drill at the Shenyang Military Command, while in August, on the army's 80th anniversary, the Foreign Military Attache Corps were invited to Jinggangshan to get a look at China's military history.

The navy also made more overseas trips and took part in joint exercises with foreign navies last year than ever before in a single year.

David Ojeda, defense attache of the Peruvian Embassy, said he was impressed by the Chinese military in the exercises and tours he had seen.

Source: China Daily

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