China, Australia to strengthen exchanges between armed forces

08:47, May 16, 2010      

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Visiting General Guo Boxiong, vice-chairman of China's Central Military Commission, and Australian Minister for Defense John Faulkner have vowed to strengthen exchanges between the armed forces of China and Australia.

China and Australia shared common interests and desire in ensuring the peace, stability and development of the Asia-Pacific region, said a joint statement released by Guo and Faulkner Friday.

The two sides hailed the development of their military-to-military relationship in recent years and said positive outcomes had been achieved through senior visits and exchanges in education, training and technical areas.

Both sides agreed that strengthening open dialogue on defense and security issues between Australia and China was conducive to promoting bilateral relations.

The statement said China and Australia were both pleased with the outcomes of the current visit and the opportunity it provided to further strengthen bilateral ties and military exchanges.

The Sino-Australia defense relationship was an important part of bilateral ties and both sides would work concertedly to sustain sound and stable development in this regard, it said.

Both countries should respect and take into full consideration each other's core interests and major concerns, and develop ties on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, the statement said. It said the two sides had also agreed to carry out more top-level visits to further promote mutual trust and discuss ways to boost the transparency of defence policies.

Both sides said maritime security was crucial in keeping maritime trade routes open, and agreed to organize a joint maritime exercises with naval ship visits in the future and to continue exchanges on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

The two countries agreed to enhance exchanges between the two armies and to push ahead exchanges of mid-level and junior officers in such areas as information sharing, peace-keeping, medical treatment and sports.

Guo arrived in Australia on Tuesday for a four-day official goodwill visit at the invitation of Faulkner. He has already met with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Foreign Minister Stephen Smith.

Source: Xinhua


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