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China, New Zealand hold initial strategic consultation between armed forces
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07:49, November 16, 2007

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China and New Zealand on Thursday held the first strategic consultation between their armed forces in Beijing.

Ma Xiaotian, vice chief of General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), and David Anthony Bamfield, vice chief of the Defence Force of New Zealand, both participated in the consultation. They exchanged in-depth views on relations between the two countries and the two armed forces, as well as regional security conditions.

The consultation was conducted in a candid, friendly and constructive atmosphere, the Chinese Ministry of National Defence said.

Ma said the PLA of China valued its friendly relationship with the Defence Force of New Zealand and held an active attitude toward deepening cooperation. He added China was willing to join with New Zealand to continue promoting the in-depth development of bilateral military ties at various levels and in various fields.

Bamfield echoed Ma's comments. He noted that the Defence Force of New Zealand would continue to make joint efforts with China in the spirit of openness to raise their military relationship to a new high.

Both men agreed that the consultation was positive and fruitful and reached the purpose of enhancing mutual understanding, expanding common ground, strengthening mutual trust and promoting cooperation.

Chen Bingde, chief of the General Staff of the PLA, also met with Bamfield on Thursday and congratulated him on the successful convening of the consultation. He noted that the establishment of such a strategic consultation mechanism between the two armed forces not only marked the continuous development of bilateral military ties, but also was a concrete measure to further strengthen dialogue and deepen mutual strategic trust.

Chen said the armed forces of China and New Zealand should hold regular consultation and make joint efforts to further explore and expand new channels and methods for enhancing bilateral military exchange.

Bamfield arrived in Beijing on Wednesday. Earlier he visited Guangzhou in south China and Qingdao in east China.

Source: Xinhua

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